The Taraba State Government has put plans in place to reduce maternal and child deaths in the state.
This was made known on Tuesday in Jalingo, the state capital, by Micah Madaki, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health, during the flag-off of the Community Health Influencers, Promoters, and Services (CHIPS) programme.
Madaki, who disclosed that no fewer than 591 volunteers have been recruited for the programme, expressed sadness at the rate at which Nigeria continues to lose women and under-five children to preventable causes.
“Women are dying from bleeding before getting to [medical] facilities, while children are also dying from malaria, diarrhoea, and pneumonia,” he noted.
The CHIPS programme, according to him, will ameliorate the situation as it will motivate people in rural areas to respond to routine immunisations.
“I am optimistic that the non-compliance and low routine immunisation rates and other Primary Health Care services will become nonexistent as CHIPS agents will be adequately mobilised to refer household members to PHC facilities to access the necessary services,” he said.
Also speaking, the wife of the state governor, Agyin Kefas, noted that the CHIPS programme is designed to encourage and support local households to seek primary health care services at clinics and outreach programmes across the state.
She also reiterated that CHIPS agents have been adequately trained to also manage simple cases of cough, malaria, and diarrhoea in children under the age of five as well as provide basic promotional, preventive, and case management services.
Earlier, the executive secretary of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (TSPHCDA), Dr. Tukura Nuhu, said the agency would not cease collaborating with development partners, whom he said have been assisting in taking healthcare services to the doorsteps of rural communities.
He urged the state government to assist the agency with permanent office accommodations, which he believed would boost the agency’s morale.