Ogun Calls For Increased Partnerships On Maternal, Child Health

The Ogun State Government has identified the need for more sustainable partnerships, to consolidate the impacts recorded by the present administration in healthcare delivery, especially on maternal and child health.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Waheed Odusile made this known during an advocacy meeting, held in Oyo town with Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries of States within the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Lagos Field Office comprising Edo, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, describing the State’s existing partnership with UNICEF as strong and sustainable.

Odusile said UNICEF’s goal of ensuring a significant reduction in maternal mortality and promoting child survival aligns with Prince Dapo Abiodun’s vision of making healthcare accessible to all, saying the government’s deployment of tricycle ambulances across the 20 Local Government Areas was already saving lives of pregnant women in remote areas.

“Health has been a core area of focus of our administration and we have invested hugely in this sector. From the outset, they planned to make healthcare more accessible by renovating, equipping, and adequately staffing a primary healthcare center in all of the 236 wards across the state. So far, we have done slightly above 50percent of that figure. We have also introduced the hub and spoke strategy to ensure that health care and referrals are provided at the appropriate level”, he said.

The Commissioner disclosed that the foundation of the success of Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration was cemented by the government’s decision to create a fertile ground for collaborations and partnerships.

He said his Ministry’s partnership with UNICEF to use radio programme to disseminate key messages for child survival and development was already yielding positive results, saying more radio stations had indicated interest to take ownership of the programme.

In his submission, the Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, appreciated UNICEF for partnering with the States in the zone in order to holistically address critical issues pertaining to child survival and the health of adults as well.

Olatubosun said there is an urgent need to scale up interventions that would penetrate remote communities where essential family practices must always be reinforced, adding that collaborations with stakeholders would yield more positive results.

On her part, the Officer in Charge, UNICEF, Akure Field Office, Mrs. Ada Ezeogu, said the goal of the advocacy meeting is to develop strategies to improve COVID-19 vaccination uptake and maternal nutrition and care in the zone, identifying female genital mutilation and open defecation as problems that needed to be addressed.

Ezeogu said the media and government have a role to play in changing the current narrative, urging the political officeholders to prioritize sustainable ways to spread key information about the identified issues to the grassroots