By Jonathan Abass Kamara
Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister II, Zuliatu Cooper has appealed to the people of Koinadugu district to offer voluntary blood donation noting its importance in promoting maternal and newborn health.
Deputy Health and Sanitation ZULIATU COOPER
Addressing the launching ceremony of the National Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Week campaign at the Kabala Community Centre, the Deputy Minister appealed to partners working with the District Health Management Team to support the Blood Bank initiative by raising the awareness on its importance in every chiefdom and communities.
She also implored Paramount Chiefs, religious leaders and civil society groups to boost the sensitization.
Commenting on home delivery, the Deputy Minister noted the danger of giving birth at home and cautioned pregnant women to avoid giving birth to Traditional Birth Attendants.
She noted the condition of the terrains but optimistic that with the current infrastructural development by the government, the roads network in the Koinadugu district will in the not too distant future be a thing of the past.
Madam Cooper underscored the importance of the MCH Week to provide essential health care services as part of President Koroma’s priority to achieve the Agenda for Prosperity, adding that faith based organizations, civil society, traditional and religious leaders and the community are vital in the reduction of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality.
Commenting on the role of nurses, Madam Cooper called on nurses to be compassionate, caring and God fearing in the discharge of the duties. She said they are the first port of call to attend to the patient, and the primary health care provider for health services to humanity, and encourage them to work within the ethics and code of conduct of the profession.
She thanked all those who in diverse ways contributed to the successful implementation of the campaign and reiterated government’s commitment to providing affordable and accessible quality health care delivery services for its citizens.
The Director of Reproductive and Child Health Programme, Dr. Santigie Sesay encouraged the Koinadugu people to support the campaign, stressing the importance of immunization in reducing sickness among children, saves life, and brings happiness to the family.
Director of Reproductive and Child Health, Dr. Santigie Sesay
The ‘marklate’, he reiterated prevent diseases and appealed to all community leaders including Paramount Chiefs to encourage pregnant women to deliver in health facilities, adding that the Maternal and Child Health Aides and Midwives are now available to provide professional services to avoid complications.
In his remarks, Paramount Chief Alimamy Lahai Mansaray V supports the call for voluntary blood donation and the availability of blood banks in health facilities.
Paramount Chief Alimamy Lahai Mansaray V
He stressed the need for the implementation of Birth Waiting Homes in all chiefdoms in the district and encouraged his colleagues who have not established any to endeavor to do so noting that it helps in the fight against maternal death.
The Paramount chief disclosed that since 2007 when the Birth Waiting Home was established in his district, 837 were admitted, 792 discharged, 45 were referred and one death occurred. One of the strategy applied for the reduction of maternal death he said, is the institution of Le 50, 000 fines against any woman who defaults by giving birth at home.
Other key highlights of the campaign are the administering of Vitamin A and Albendazole for de-worming. A symbolic administration of Vitamin A and an inspection tour of different booths by the Deputy Minister formed part of the ceremony.
Madam Zuliatu Cooper administering Vitamin A to one of the children
The campaign was sponsored by Helen Keller International with support from Standard Chartered Bank.