For every 1,000 children born in Benue, at least 128 children aged under five die from preventable illnesses, state health authorities say.
Benue’s commissioner for health and human services Cecilia Ojabo says the deaths are from malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea largely due to lack of accessibility to primary health care.
She spoke in Makurdi at a symposium on integrated community case management of the Partnership for Improved Child Health (PICH) project organised by the Christian Aid UK, Nigeria.
The commissioner noted that most of the deaths from the three diseases were preventable if the victims had early intervention by healthcare givers, hence she applauded the Christian Aid supported program in the state.
“The project has immensely benefitted over 100, 000 women, men and children in four LGAs. The project has also raised and trained 994 Community Oriented Resource Persons (CORPs) who have the requisite knowledge to identify and manage common childhood illnesses in the community,” she said.
The commissioner therefore described the symposium as a milestone in the launch of the partnership for PICH as the project in her estimation is delivering high impact saving preventive and curative intervention for malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea in children within the ages of two and 59 months.
Also speaking, Country Director of Christian Aid, Charles Usie, appreciated the collaboration of the Benue state government in providing its counterpart funding to impact meaningfully in the lives of the citizens.
Usie posited that of the nine states in the country where Christian Aid operates, its investment in Benue ranks highest as he stressed that the effort demonstrated by the state government to develop a healthy productive lives would manifest in the fight to stamp out poverty among the people.