Enugu State governor, Dr Peter Mbah has expressed displeasure with the high rate of maternal and newborn mortality in the country, saying his administration will take a radical approach to end the ugly trend in the state.
The governor, who frowned at the national statistics of 522 maternal mortality per 100,000 births, and over 216 newborn mortality per 1,000 infant births, said the figures were unacceptable, stressing that strategic programmes must be put in place for the eradication through collective efforts.
He spoke while declaring open a five-day training of trainers (TOT) Master Training for Doctors/Nurses on Maternal and Newborn Care organised by the Enugu State Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, LDS, held in Enugu on Tuesday.
Represented by the deputy governor, Barr Ifeanyi Ossai, Governor Mbah commended the immediate past deputy governor of the state, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo for her efforts in attracting the Latter Day Saints to partner with the Enugu State Government in the development of various sectors in the state.
He said the former deputy governor informed him of the church’s interventions in the areas of health, education, sinking of boreholes, and others.
Mbah said government would address the problem of maternal and newborn mortality by adopting new approaches.
“We are dealing with the problem. We are reviewing what had happened in the past. We are trying to build on the success of the past administrations. The governments in the past 20 to 25 years approached developments in a particular way. We will do things differently.
“If we must succeed, we must get right the approach. The training of this nature should have participants of people who are the actual healthcare providers to our citizens “, he said.
The governor directed the Ministry of Health to immediately enlist medical doctors and nurses to be part of the training, saying they were the people who treat the patients.
”You cannot restrict such a training to directors in the ministry, to chief medical directors who run the administration of hospitals. We need people who deal with our patients to get the training,’ the governor said, adding that they were the people who could use the training in their operations and also train others.
“It can not be business as usual. Our approach in government is to be direct, to save cost, but above all to have impact in whatever decisions we make,” he said.
He thanked the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for their support, urging them to sustain their programmes for the state. He promised that the state government would continue to partner with the church and build a stronger relationship.
Earlier, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Elder Dr Chidi Udechi said the church, through its charity arm, had partnered with the state government for more than six years, saying they had renovated over 15 health centres and provided over 25 boreholes.
Others who spoke at the event were Dr Fred Langeland, head of Maternal and Newborn Care, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Dr Okechukwu Ossai, principal administrator, Enugu State Hospital Management Board, among others.
Participants were drawn from various hospitals in Enugu State.
The training which started on Monday July 17 will end on Friday, July 21, 2023.
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