The seventh Round of the Maternal and Child Health Week (MCHW) which starts on the 25th and ends on 28th January 2013 country wide will target one million two hundred under five children and three hundred thousand pregnant women.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Programme Manager Child Health Reverend Dr Thomas Samba while addressing Reporters at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation conference hall in Freetown.
He said that the goal of the MCHW is to increase the coverage for various life-saving interventions that impact on the welfare of women and children thereby reducing mortality and morbidity. The objective he said is to achieve 100% for Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) and at least 95% coverage for all other interventions.
The Programme Manager added that the Week is dedicated to accentuated service delivery to women and children by way of giving out cost effective, high impact evidence based interventions that will impact positively upon the lives of women and children.
Dr Samba stated that “the intervention that will be given to the community will be free of cost and includes: Polio vaccination, Vitamin A supplement, deworming, defaulter tracing to strengthen routine immunization and elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (EMTCT).”
He reiterated that Mass campaigns are supplement to routine activities which are necessary to reach many more children who, for one reason or the other, may have been missed, adding that the focus of MCHW is to reach as many children and women as possible.
Reverend Dr Samba noted that the weeklong programme provides another opportunity for tracking missed children, as a necessary effort aimed at complementing the facility based health service delivery.
The Programme Manager explained that the reason why the Ministry came up with this activity is that statistics has shown that Sierra Leone is among the worst countries with high maternal and new born deaths in the world.
“The Ministry and partners planned together to have the activity as one of the formidable strategies to circumvent this bad health indices”, he said, while stating that during the course of this “we will start the national launch on the 24th January in Moyamba Town by a high profile personality and the national campaign proper starts on 25th and ends on 18th January 2013.
He called on all the target beneficiaries to come forward and access these interventions.
By Abibatu Kamara