Monday, January 11, 2021

Neonatal Tetanus: Medical Women's Association Of Nigeria (MWAN) Raises Alarm Over High Cases.

.....As MWAN National President, Dr. Minnie Oseji Embarks On Nationwide Monitoring and Evaluation of Health Programmes.

....Group says Zamfara State is Most Negatively Affected In Nigeria Going by 2020 Reports.

By Victor Bieni, Asaba

Medical Women's Association of Nigeria (MWAN) has raised alarm over the relatively high number of cases of Neonatal Tetanus reported in a health facility in Zamfara State in the year 2020 - a total of 12 cases in the space of 8 months.
This was revealed to our reporter by the National President of the Association, Dr. Minnie Oseji after a virtual meeting on Monitoring and Evaluation of Health Programmes which held on Saturday 9th January 2021.

Dr. Bobola Agbonle, MWAN National Coordinator recounted other results from the Pilot Demonstration Project involving the adoption of 13 health facilities by MWAN across 13 States of the nation to promote maternal, newborn and child health. The first batch of States included in the project are Kwara, Delta, Kaduna, Oyo, Cross River, Benue, Niger and Zamfara States. The second batch of States are Akwa-Ibom, Sokoto, Rivers, Imo and Lagos State. MWAN has provided fliers for awareness creation on prevailing health problems for the facilities as well as supportive supervision.

The association plans to organise training on Maternal Neonatal Tetanus Elimination for Officers-in-Charge of the health facilities in addition to donating Chlorhexidine gel for umbilical cord care to mothers from LGAs with high rates of Neonatal Tetanus in Zamfara State. The facility in Delta State reported low utilisation of family planning services.

The media learnt from the MWAN National President that, Dr Uche Okwe, MWAN National Assistant Secretary presented the findings from the the Women's Right to Health Information (WORTHI) project on Breast-Self Examination (BSE) for early detection of Breast Cancer wherein 12,078 persons were provided with health information on BSE.

According to her, Dr Uche also presented the WORTHI Project on cervical screening that has provided 19 States with fliers on cervical screening, supported cervical screening for 198 women as well as contributing to paying for the treatment of a case of cervical cancer.

Dr. Oseji stressed the need to incentivize financially health workers who are doing well, while sanctioning those who persist in doing badly.

In her goodwill message, the Director of Health, Planning and Research, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Dr. Ngozi Azodoh, expressed the happiness of the Hon. Minister for Health , Dr. Osagie Ehanire for the activities that MWAN has embarked on.

She said: "Critical areas that MWAN could partner with the Federal Ministry of Health include:
- Mobilizing stakeholders to take the Covid-19 vaccine;
Monitoring government health projects such as the Basic Health Care Provision Fund; Promoting Vaccine Uptake; Integration of the work of critical stakeholders in health such as members of the National Assembly, NGOs, CBOs and Health parastatals such as the NPHCDA and the NHIS.

She indicated that MWAN should participate in the Technical Working Group on Monitoring and Evaluation of the Federal Ministry of Health.

She explained that monitoring and evaluation of health programmes by private sector and NGOs like MWAN is good, critical And backed up by the National Health Act.

She advised that stakeholders should use the Health Management Information System established by the Federal Ministry of Health to obtain data for evidenced-based decision making using appropriate technology.

Dr. Stanley Ukpai, Project Director for the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale (PAS) extolled the blissful partnership they have had with MWAN on Routine Immunisation.

He said: "The PAS project is an advocacy project that aims to increase fulfillment of the Nigerian Government's commitment to child and family health and build the capacity of indigenous CSOs that work in collaboration with this outcome".

"I'm glad at being invited to a monitoring and evaluation meeting because at PAS we monitor processes, outputs and outcomes of health programmes".

He declared his belief that wherever women's voices are amplified, there is a lot of change and had taken stock of the impact that has been made by MWAN, soliciting for a lot of partnership to come MWAN's way to support the great job MWAN is doing.

Honourable Yusuf Tanko Sununu, the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Health also attended the meeting.

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