By Ogochukwu Nwaokafor
The 2023 Women’s Health Conference graced by the presence of the wife of the Governor of Anambra State, Dr Nonye Soludo, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), was concluded on a high note, bringing together healthcare professionals, experts and Anambra women from every part of the state to discuss and educate women on critical issues relating to women’s health and well-being.
The conference was held at Prof. Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre, Awka, the capital city in Anambra State, on 1st August 2023, with the aim to empower women leaders of every organizations on health issues, creating awareness on common diseases that affect women, and how the participants could convey the training and messages down to the women at community levels, especially during the annual women August meetings.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike, who disclosed this in his opening remarks, urged women to abstain from drug routines but to invest the money for drugs on good, healthy food, noting that women were the pioneers of every home who should do well to keep their homes healthy with natural food.
He further appreciated Dr Soludo for initiating the women’s health conference.
Also speaking, Dr Soludo, who is an advocate of healthy leaving, appealed to women to make their children their number one responsibility, noting that modern day children were veering away into bad habits and drug addiction.
Noting that the economy was too bad, Soludo urged women to endeavor to carry out their responsibilities on their children to avoid bad behavior. She also called on Nigerians to adhere to family planning to reduce sending their children out for housekeeping at a tender age
Interacting with the women on her healthy living project, Dr Soludo affirmed that she was determined to make right, health consciousness a household philosophy in Anambra State, and asked the women to embrace organic and healthy lifestyles, especially with what they consumed
She called on Nigerians to abstain from junk and canned foods and embrace natural foods for healthy living as health is wealth.’ She said
In same vain the guest speaker, Prof. JIB Adinma, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, who spoke on “Reproductive Health and Maternal Mortality”, noted the importance of child bearing in every home, even as he further urged every childless couple to abstain from going to prayer houses and others in search of a child.
He pointed out the three basic tests to be run on any childless couple in a quest to identify their issues.
‘Find out if the woman ovulated. Is her fallopian tube open or not. Is the man’s sperm healthy, Men have 30% of the fault in childless marriage, women have 30%. Both jointly have 30% and 10% is referred to as unknown factor,; he said.
He urged couples to adopt pregnancy planning and prepare well before pregnancy as it was a significant undertaking. He also said couples should also adhere to family planning.
Prof Adimma commended the state government for investing on primary health care delivery, disclosing that Anambra State had one of the least records of maternal mortality in the country.
Adimma lauded the state government for supporting the recent training of several health workers on modified life-saving skills around the state.
Dr Chioma Mbachu, who spoke on ”Poor breast Feeding practice in Anambra, noted that women’s breast milk comprised 90% water, while the remaining 10% contained vitamins, proteins and antibodies that boosted a child’s immune system. She urged every breastfeeding mother to practice exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months and then complementary feeding for at least two years.
She noted that August 1 to 7 was marked annually, as world breastfeeding week.
She affirmed that colostrum, which is the breastmilk the baby gets first few days after birth, was the first immunization which helped to fight infections.
In addition, the chairman of Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Anambra State Chapter, Dr. Amaka Onubogu, who spoke on ”Self-Breast Examination”, stated that it was important for girls from age twenty to check their breasts at least once in a month, regretting that deaths due to breast related ailments had continued to rise largely due to ignorance. She emphasized that breast cancer was treatable if detected early.
Meanwhile, Dr. Simeon Onyemaechi, Executive Secretary of Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA), stated that access to health insurance had made health services easier in Anambra State, with the agency’s coverage for treatment now expanded across over 300 health facilities.
The representatives of WHO, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Anambra State, the Executive Secretary of Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Pharmacist Chisom Uchem, also made presentations at the conference.