The Anambra State Government in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has commenced training for health workers on modified life saving skills to eradicate maternal and infant mortality.
Dr Afam Obidike, state’s Commissioner for Health, at the opening of the training on Tuesday in Awka, said participants were midwives, nurses and community health extension workers (CHEWs), from primary healthcare centres across the state.
Obidike said it was necessary to strengthen the capacity the midwives, nurses and CHEWs as there were closer providers of healthcare services in the rural communities.
“Maternal and infant deaths are preventable and that is why Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s administration is doing everything possible to reduce the rates in the state.
“These midwives, nurses and CHEWs are the first link in the chain that connects the villages or communities with the health centers, and the centers with the hospitals.
“This training will increasing their expertise to help women access quality healthcare and ensure the health of mothers before, during, and after pregnancy to keep them and their babies alive, safe and healthy.
“If there is a serious case that cannot be managed at the community level, they are being taught early referral to the hospital. The goal is to reduced maternal and infant mortalities in the state, ” he said.
While appreciating the facilitators and UNICEF for their support, the Commissioner urged the participants to take the training seriously.
Also speaking, Prof. Brian Adinma, an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, described the training as a refresher course on every aspects of saving the lives of pregnant women and babies.
“These modified life saving skills is based on the competencies of the midwives, nurses and CHEWs, and they are basic antenatal care, record keeping in maternity care and childbirth care.
“Others are postnatal care for mothers and newborns, referral system and breastfeeding education,” he said.
“You can build well-equipped hospitals but if you do not have trained and competent workers in those hospitals, they become useless,” he said.
In her remarks, Dr Obianuju Okoye, state Reproductive Health Coordinator, said that the training was part of Nonye Soludo Strategic Initiative to upgrade the clinical capacities of the health workers.
“The maternal mortality rate in the state is 281 per 100,000. This is the statistics from public health facilities, it could be more if we add private hospitals.
“So, this training is to empower healthcare workers to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths in the state,” she said.