As part of efforts to deliver key health interventions, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has launched the FCT 2019 second round Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and the enrolment of area councils employees in the FCT Health Insurance Scheme.
Speaking during the official flag off yesterday in Abuja, the minister noted that the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) has been set aside specially to deliver a package of key maternal, newborn and child survival interventions that have been proven to reduce maternal, neonatal and child mortalities in the territory.
She revealed that the FCT has shown over 400 percent performance improvement in eight years up to the last first round of the 2019 MNCHW, noting that a coverage of 98 percent was achieved against 24 percent in 2011.
She further revealed that reports of studies, particularly the recent report of 2018 National Demographic and Health Survey, have shown that FCT coverage of fully immunised children at 49 percent, which is above the national average of 31 percent.
The minister acknowledged that considerable achievements have been made through MNCHW to improve the current maternal, newborn and child health indices, but stressed that the authorities still need to do more to ensure that all eligible children, newborn and mothers are covered with interventions that will improve their nutritional status and general health.
“Since my inauguration and deployment to the FCT, I have engaged with stakeholders in the health and social services subsectors at all levels and it is important to mention that we have developed a blueprint for positively touching the lives of all the residents of FCT by way of a 5-year, 2019 to 2023, strategic plan.
“The launching of the enrolment of all Area Councils employees in the FCT health insurance scheme today is one of such initiatives to increase access to good, quality health services towards achieving universal health coverage for the FCT,” she stated.
Aliyu assured that efforts were ongoing to ensure pregnant women and under five-year-old children in the FCT are covered by the health insurance scheme to further expand access to good, quality and timely health services to the vulnerable groups.
The minister stated that emphasis has shifted from stand-alone vertical routine and supplemental health services provision to a more integrated approach like the MNCMNCH week, which exposed caregivers and children to key interventions that improve health status and enable them thrive through both the fixed and outreach strategies.
She added that the promotion of these health services is the priority of the FCT Administration.
In his address, chairman of Kuje Area Council, Hon. Abdullahi Sabo, noted that maternal and newborn healthcare is a bi-annual event aimed at reducing maternal deaths, child mortality and morbidity, stressing that the intervention is to provide maternal healthcare and nutrition which are key to child survival and maternal well-being.
The council boss therefore called on beneficiaries, who are children from age 0-59 months and women of child bearing age, to avail themselves of this opportunity by coming out en masse to be part of the programme so that at the end it shall be better for all residents of the territory.
Sabo also used the occasion to commend the FCT Health Insurance Scheme for Area Councils personnel, describing it as a good development for the staff and their families.
Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, Hon. Abdullahi Candido, who spoke on behalf of other area council chairmen, pledged the commitment of the area council administrations to support the programme.