Cross River flags off supplementary maternal, tetanus elimination campaign
The Cross River State government and partners have flagged off the supplementary maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination Campaign in Akamkpa Local Government Area with a target to reach all women of childbearing age with the tetanus vaccine which provides protection for mother and child.
Performing the flag-off in Mma Effa Health centre, the state Commissioner for Health, Betta Edu emphasized the need for community members to often take advantage of health interventions for their well being.
Edu noted that with huge investments from the government and its partners to provide quality and accessible healthcare for all, deliberate measures should be taken by citizens to take advantage of all of the services.
The health Commissioner described the tetanus eradication exercise as one that if well embraced could drastically reduce the rate of maternal and child mortality, not just in Akamkpa, but across the State.
She also appreciated the support of development partners in the state particularly UNICEF and WHO while calling on stakeholders to support the government of Senators Ben Ayade as he’s changing the dynamics in the health sector.
In her remarks, the director-general of Cross River State, Janet Ekpenyong frowned at the increasing rate of maternal and child mortality as a result of tetanus infection by poor households.
She said , the high figures of Tetanus infection, as well as deaths in rural communities, is as a result of the unprofessional attitude of traditional birth attendants who use unhygienic and contaminated equipment during delivery.
She emphasized the need for pregnant women to seek medical help in health facilities closest to them as against the traditional or religious centres as currently practised, noting that, such decisions will grant access to counselling, vaccination and proper management.
Ekpenyong called on all traditional rulers, opinion and religious leaders to support the government on issues related to health interventions through mobilization, advocacies and sensitization of their subjects in order to actualize a 100 percent implementation rate.
On her part, the State immunization officer, Joy Chabo highlighted the essence of the vaccination exercise and its importance both economically and health-wise to individuals, families as well as the community.
She described tetanus as a silent killer which if not dictated on time, will leave victims with severe effects which may eventually lead to death.
She encouraged mothers to routinely take their children to health facilities in order to be immunized against all child killer diseases.
Goodwill messages were received from representatives of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency as well as Traditional leaders, women leaders as well as representative of Traditional Birth Attendants.
Some symptoms of tetanus include fever, high temperature, back pain, stiffness of the body, convulsions and possibly death if not properly managed.