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Don't pay for Medical Services, Imoke tells pregnant women

By The Citizen

Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has urged pregnant women not to pay for their medical treatment because such expenses are borne by the state. Speaking while flagging off the state Maternal New Born and Child Health Week at Sankwala, Obanliku Local Government Area, Imoke enjoined them not to pay for the medical treatment of children of five years and below. Imoke   explained that government's decision is borne out of the fact that medical treatments for pregnant women and their children is free and motor cycles, generators, pickup vans and medical kits have been provided to enhance their treatment. He said though the state's financial position is not buoyant, it is determined to provide free and affordable medical services to enable the people work and children go to school, stressing that immunization is free while vaccination should be taken regularly for polio and measles to be kicked out of the state. The governor advised that if they are asked to pay for medical treatment at government facility, they should report such medical officers because such money does not get to government's coffer but to individual's pockets. Imoke reminded that ambulance given to the area is meant to convey pregnant women from their communities to the General Hospital in case of emergency for treatment and is not doctor's car because they have been issued with pickup vans while calling on nurses and health workers to be dedicated and committed to their work in order to save lives. On the status of traditional birth attendants (TBA) in the village, Imoke said there is need for them to be registered, trained and shown how children could be delivered safely and under good sanitary condition before taking them to the doctor for treatment and registration. He explained that traditional rulers are involved in the exercise because government wants the information to get to the communities for enlightenment, adding that they are equally expected to police the programme and ensure it's successful as well as report those not doing their work to the appropriate government agencies. According to him, this is to ensure that the exercise gets to all nooks and crannies of the state. Prof. Angela Oyo-Ita, Commissioner for Health noted that the exercise is expected to stop death, as well as encourage mothers to give their children salt/water solution, de-worm and breast feed them exclusively and give them drugs while pleading with mothers to avail themselves of the exercise. Oyo-Ita remarked that it was a routine exercise with the level of participation of mothers increase per exercise and said they needed to acquaint themselves of urine and blood pressure tests which are free for pregnant women, stressing that mothers should use health centres because incidence of sickness amongst them has reduced. Mr. Bejamin Ayua, Chairman of Obanliku Local Government Area, Said the area has benefitted from many state rehabilitation programmes and that in the last exercise in much 2013, it recorded a remarkable success in immunization campaigns.