As part of efforts to bridge the gaps in maternal and child mortalities in the territory, The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu on Tuesday, inaugurated the FCT Emergency Maternal and Child Health Intervention Centre (FEMCHIC).
Aliyu, while inaugurating the centre, said it would provide an oversight and coordinate reproductive, maternal, child health, adolescent health plus nutrition (RMNCAH+N) activities at the primary healthcare level.
The minister also said that the centre would eliminate parallel programme implementation by the government and Non-Governmental Organisations.
She explained that the centre would also develop a single work plan for its health activities, ensure universal service delivery and increase access to quantity care irrespective of place of residence in the FCT.
The minister said that Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2018 Report indicated that maternal and child mortalities were unacceptably high in Nigeria with wide gaps in sub-National performance.
Aliyu, represented by Dr Francis Alu, General Manager, FCT Hospital Management Board, said progress toward closing the gaps and reversing the trend was slow and projections showed practical impossibility of achieving reductions.
He noted that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, in 2019 declared a National Emergency in Maternal and Child Health in Nigeria, with the goal to reduce the current levels of Maternal and Child Mortality by at least 50 per cent at the end of 2021.
Aliyu said that the 36 states and FCT were expected to establish the State and FCT Emergency Intervention Centres after due documentation of baseline indicators.
He stated that the survey presented in 2019, indicated that the FCT performed better than most states in the north central zone with some figures better than the zonal and national averages.
He said that the FCT neo-Natal mortality rate was 27 per 1,000 live births.
“FCT recorded a coverage of 49 per cent on fully immunised children which is above the National average of 31 per cent.
“Modern Family Planning prevalence at 20 per cent against National 12 per cent, Attendance at Ante Natal Care 88 per cent against National 67 per cent.
“Skilled birth attendance in the facility at 63 per cent against National 39 per cent.
“Access to potable water in FCT is 68 per cent of households against 66 per cent National average.
“Spousal violence, prevalence of sickle cell disease and childhood anaemia are all better in FCT than the National average,’’Aliyu said.
She, however, frowned at the five per cent prevalence of female genital mutilation practice in the FCT, noting that though it was below the national average, but unacceptable in the nation’s capital.
The minister affirmed that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and dwindling funds, the FCT Administration had prioritised the funding of health activities.
Aliyu revealed that in 2020, the administration had funded several reproductive, maternal, child health, adolescent health plus nutrition (RMNCAH + N) activities.
Earlier, Dr Iwot Ndaeyo, the Acting Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare Board, stated that with the inauguration of the centre, the 50 per cent target by 2021 would be met.
He said the terms of reference of the centre include improving awareness and promoting community involvement in interventions to reduce maternal and child mortalities and strengthen coordination, leadership and accountability in RMNCAH+N programmes. (NAN)