Adamawa State House of Assembly is considering legislating on a bill that will make it mandatory for the state government to offer free medical services for children from zero to 5 years old in the state.
Also, the House of Assembly says much work needed to be done to enlighten the public on the importance of birth registration as it provides data needed to formulate programmes and policies for the development of the society.
The Speaker of the House of Assembly Hon. Kabiru Mijinyawa, disclosed this while receiving the state leadership of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) of Nigeria Women Medical Doctors (ANWMD) and Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) supported by UNICEF and European Union on courtesy and advocacy visits in his office during the week.
Hon. Mijinyawa said that the house of assembly will legislate on a bill that will make mandatory for the state government to render free medical services to children from zero to 5 years.
He added that accessing free medical services will go a long way in reducing maternal mortality rate, and impact positively on health services in the state especially on the rural dwellers who cannot afford to settle medical bills of their wards.
He further observed that several births being recorded in the state are not registered, saying gaps needed to be bridged in the area of creating awareness, lack of clarity about the registration process and an individual perception as may be contributory to the problems facing the entire system.
According to him, improving registration will require intensive enlightenment campaigns designed in the local languages and addressing, identified misconception about the registration, challenging the officials saddled with the responsibility to carry out the exercise to be committed to other duties.
He lamented the inability of the state government to pay its counterpart fund.
He stressed the readiness of the hallowed chamber to partner with the associations towards addressing some of the challenges confronting the entire health sector in the state, commending women medical doctors in particular for their role in reaching out to the people at the grassroots.
Speaking earlier, the chairperson Association of Nigeria Women Medical Doctor (ANNMD) Dr Batulu Isa, stated that the leadership of the association was in his office to familiarize themselves with the speaker and other members of the house of assembly.
Dr. Batulu Isa said one of the fundamental roles of the association was to improve on the health condition of citizens most especially women and children, saying they have been reaching out to schools, orphanage homes, prison inmates, IDPs and other places as part of their contribution to improving their health condition.
She told the speaker that the association was also in his office to seek for partnership with hallowed chamber to enable them come up with their inputs for legislation.
Also speaking the chairman Primary Health Care Development Agency Dr. Bello Silati who led officials of PHCDA supported by UNICEF at EU observed with dismay that Adamawa State has the lowest education in the northeast, saying they have been lacking funds to carry out their activities.
Dr. Silati pointed out that in the area of birth registration, the state is still lagging behind as most states in the country have moved ahead of us, saying that the state has an 79 birth registration centres for the entire 226 wards across the 21 LGAs.
According to him, about 70 percent of births take place outside health facility and as such registering them posed a serious challenge to them, saying that the importance of the exercise cannot be over emphasized in the society.
Dr. Bello Silati called on the house of assembly to intervene with a view to addressing some of the problems facing them, commending the house of assembly for quality legislative.