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By: Emmanuel Ulayi.
The Cross River State Government and partners have flagged off the Supplementary Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination Campaign in Akamkpa Local Government Area with a target to reach all women of child bearing age with the Tetanus Vaccine which provides protection for mother and child. “ the chances of a baby surviving neonatal tetanus or even an adult, is very slim. The cost of treatment is too much, just prevent it!”
Performing the flag off in Mma Effa  Health center, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu emphasized the need for Community members to often take advantage of health interventions for their well being.
Dr Edu noted that, with huge investments from the government and it’s partners to provide quality and accessible healthcare for all, delibrate measures should be taken by citizens to take advantage of all of the services .
The Health Commissioner described the tetanus eradication exercise as one if well embraced could drastically reduce the rate of maternal and child mortality, not just in Akamkpa, but across the State.
She also appreciated the support of development partners in the state particularly UNICEF and WHO while calling on stakeholders to support the Government of Senators Prof Ben Ayade as he’s changing the dynamics in the health sector.
In her remarks, the Director General of Cross River State, Dr Janet Ekpenyong frawned at the increasing rate of maternal and child Mortality  as a result of tetanus infection by poor households.
She said , the high figures of Tetanus infection as well as deaths in rural Communities is as  a result of unprofessional attitude of  traditional birth attendants who uses Unhygienic and contaminated equipment during delivery.
She emphasized the need for Pregnant women to seek medical help in health Facilities closest to them as against the  traditional or Religious centres as currently practiced,  noting that, such decisions will grant access to councelling, vaccination and proper management.
Dr Ekpenyong called on all traditional rulers , opinion and Religious leaders to support government on issues related to health interventions through mobilization, Advocacies and sensitization of their subjects in order to actualize a 100% implementation rate.
On her part, the State Immunization Officer, Mrs Joy Chabo highlighted the essence of the vaccination exercise and it’s importance both economically and health wise to individuals, families as well as the community.
She described tetanus as a silent killer which if not dictated on time , will leave victims with severe effects which may eventually lead to death.
She encouraged mothers to routinely take their children to Heath facilities in order to be immunized against all child killer diseases.
Goodwill messages were received from representative of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency as well as Traditional leaders, women leaders as well as representative of Traditional Birth Attendants.
Some symptoms of Tetanus includes , fever, high temperature, back pain, stiffness of the body, convulsions and possibly death if not properly managed.
A complete Tetanus vaccination schedule  for women last for two years as follows, One month after first shot,  Six months, 12 months and 24 months which guarantees full immunity.

Amawu Cletus Albert Amawu

I'm a Journalist, Host/Producer of The Verdict, your voice of conscience on FAD FM 93.1, Calabar, Public Affairs Commentator, Social Change Agent.

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