Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Tuesday inaugurated the Modified Integrated Medical Outreach Programme (mI-MOP) with a call to Abia residents to improve their health lifestyle.
Speaking during the event, organised by the state Ministry of Health and Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA), at Mgboko, Obingwa Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, Ikpeazu said the programme was initiated to address poor responses to healthcare interventions.
The programme is a Federal Government’s initiative aimed at improving primary healthcare output in under-served areas in Nigeria. The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji, said that results from national immunisation survey reveal that many LGAs in Abia had very low performance in core primary health care indicators.
“The indicators include immunisation, family planning, sleeping under an insecticide-treated net, delivering under skilled birth attendants and so on. “We have challenges in the health-seeking behavior of some care givers. Some care givers claim that they are aware of primary health care services.
“Some do not have faith in immunisation while some say that primary health care centers are far away from their locations. “This programme is being introduced to bridge the gap,” the governor said.
He said that the programme would be executed in Arochukwu, Aba North, Aba South, Isiala Ngwa South, Obingwa, Ukwa East and Ukwa West LGAs.
Ikpeazu called on traditional rulers and community leaders to ensure that women of childbearing age (15-49) and children (0-2) took advantage of the health interventions in their own interest. The Executive Secretary of PHCDA, Dr Chinagozi Adindu, said that the programme was intended to improve immunisation and primary healthcare delivery in targeted low performing LGAs.
Adindu described the programme as a strategy to bridge access gaps for under-served communities and strengthen immunisation and other primary health care services.
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic had further worsened the gaps in primary healthcare delivery with declining outputs observed, especially in the already poor maternal and child indices in Nigeria.
The PHCDA boss said that the programme would run from October 12 to October 16, adding that Fixed Posts, Temporary Fixed Posts and Mobile Fixed Post/Outreach strategies would be used in conducting the programme.