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UNICEF urges early ante-natal care for pregnant women

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UNITED Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has urged pregnant women to register early for antenatal care in designated health facilities for adequate medical attention to curtail maternal mortality.

The donor agency through its sponsored project, Social Mobilisation and Technical Committee (SOMTEC), domiciled in Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment, said it would step up intervention to ensure safe delivery.

SOMTEC Desk Officer, Mrs Chineze George-Ileka, said Volunteer Community Mobilisers (VCMs) had been constituted in communities to mobilise pregnant mothers to access antenatal care.

Mrs Ileka, who was speaking during appraisal meeting with VCMs at Onitsha South Local Government Secretariat, urged volunteers to enlighten pregnant women on the need to access medical attention in health facilities.

“Pregnant mothers should at least attend antenatal care four times before delivery, take routine drugs, check HIV status every six months and immunise their babies at health centres,” she said.

She emphasised the need for volunteers to be diligent in the discharge of their duties, stressing that they should always approach pregnant mothers in polite manner.

Anambra State Coordinator of Aids Programme, Dr Afam Anaeme, said more zeal was needed in safe delivery of pregnant mothers at Onitsha South health centres.

He announced that Onitsha North placed first with 75 per cent in 2018 safe delivery appraisal at health centres, while Onitsha South and Awka South were placed second and third with 54.5 per cent and 46 per cent respectively.

A Community women leader in Housing Estate, Dingil Nnebue, said they had moved from house to house in mobilising pregnant mothers to access healthcare facilities.

“Housing Estate community is made up of three wards — Bridge Head 1, 2 and 3,” she added.

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