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Health Officials Reinforce MDGs 

By Walter Wilson Nana

Two of the eight Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, are focused on the betterment of the health of people across the world. This is the background that inspired health officials in Cameroon to embark on the first edition of the Health Action Week for Mothers and Children.

According to Dr. Mathilda Ako-Arrey, Southwest Regional Chief of Immunisation in the Delegation of Public Health, the premier Health Action Week for Mothers and Children, which runs from June 30 to July 5, is a week during which major preventive and promotional health care is provided to children and women, in a bid to improve and maintain their health. Ako-Arrey added; "We will be out to reinforce the health of the mother and child, since they are the vulnerable groups in our society. It is our contribution to the MDGs; reinforcing the survival of the infants."

Their activities, which are free of charge, will take place in all the health departments across the Southwest Region and the country in general. These include; vaccination against poliomyelitis to all children 0-59 months, vaccination against measles to all children 9-59 months, de-worming all children of 12-59 months, distribution of Vitamin A to all children of 6-59 months and to women immediately after child birth. There will also be administration of preventive treatment of malaria among pregnant women from the 4th month of pregnancy.

Cyprian Chuo Akwo of the Department of Communication and Advocacy in the National Programme of Immunisation, Ministry of Public Health, told reporters that the success of the Health Action Week for Mothers and Children rests on the unquantifiable contribution the Cameroonian media has to make.

"It is only through the media that the language can be simplified for the beneficiaries – the children and their parents to understand," he said. While noting that the integrated campaigns are aimed at the welfare of the population, Akwo invited media practitioners to take the massages for the development of the Cameroonian health sectors to all nooks and crannies in the country. Especially to the churches, thrift and loan societies, the rural communities and more.

In a 12-page Press Kit, made available to media officials on Monday, June 29, the Ministry of Public Health is requesting media operators to accept and understand the importance of the Health Action Week for Mothers and Children, to sensitise family members, neighbours on the relevance of the aforementioned week, for the efficient control of childhood and maternal diseases.

The Press Kit notes that journalists should encourage the population to adopt behaviours that promote health improvement of the mother and child. The Health Action Week for Mothers and Children is sponsored by the Cameroon Government, with support from WHO, UNICEF, Plan International and the Ministry of Public Health.

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