From Idongesit Inyang
The Cross River government has flagged off maternal newborn and child care week with a view to immunizing newborn against early death and infection of polio and other diseases.
Children targeted by the state government for immunization are those between the ages of zero to five years.
Speaking while declaring the ceremony open at Primary Health Care Centre, Diamond Street, Calabar, wife of Cross River governor, Dr Linda Ayade, said “If you don’t de-worm your child, no matter the quantity of food given to them, they won’t grow healthy.”
Ayade, who was represented by the director general, Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CR-PHCDA), Dr. Janet Ekpeyong, stated that abendezole (deworming drug), being administered to children of zero to five years of age, would help in boosting children’s immunity and strengthen them for life.
While emphasising on the need for mothers to take their babies to primary health care centres in the state, Ayade said, “With the card, the child will be immunized.”
She also advocated proper and good nutrition for children and pregnant women so that “we can have a healthy society,” adding, “Despite deworming the kids if we don’t provide them with good nutrition, they will still not grow well.
“Plant vegetables around your homes so that you can feedyour children at very low cost,” Ayade said stressing that the deworming exercise is not restricted to urban areas alone.
According to her, “Of course this intervention is not restricted to urban areas alone but would be extended to even the hard to reach areas in the state.”
She charged pregnant women to visit the primary health care centres to get folic acid and Vitamin A drug in order to also boost their immunities and elongate their lives.
On the impact of the vaccination, she maintained, “You will agree with me that for years now we have not really heard stories of outbreak of death that is attributed to disease.
“They receive all the vitamins and supplementation, therefore maternal and infant death is drastically going down,” she further said.