By Suoyo Ekubo
The Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board in collaboration with World Health Organization and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) have successfully implemented Integrated Community Outreach Services in the State.
The Integrated Community Outreach Services was carried out in 24 Hard-To-Reach Settlements in six Local Government Areas of the State, namely, Asari Toru, Akuku Toru, Andoni, Bonny, Degema and Opobo Nkoro, LGAs.
The services included Family Planning, Ante Natal Care services, Immunization, Nutrition, Health Promotion and Education and COVID-19 vaccination.
In the planning meeting held in preparation for implementation of the Integrated Community Outreach the Permanent Secretary of the Board Dr. Agriye Harry who was represented by the Director of Community Health Services Dr. Joy Wihioka tasked LGA Health Teams to select communities where health facilities and activities were not available regularly due to high cost of transportation or difficult terrains.
The Permanent Secretary further elucidated on the importance of the programme which was aimed at improving and supporting deprived settlements of comprehensive health services. He also emphasized the goal of the programme which was to ensure reduction of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortalities and improvement of sexual and reproductive health services.
The WHO representative Dr Victor Onyiri, highlighted the importance WHO attach to the programme and noted that the meeting was strategic and solicited the full cooperation of implementers because commitment is key to delivery of services. Dr Victor equally encouraged the State supervisors to ensure they provide quality supportive supervision with emphasizes on documentation in appropriate NHMIS registers and timely reporting.
The LGA teams were made of four persons (MOH, RH, LIO and SMO) who ensured quality supervision at the LGA level and Four (4) implementing Teams per LGA composed of Five (5) service providers (ANC, FP, Nutrition, Immunization, and COVID-19) each. 2 State Supervisors were deployed to monitor the activities per LGA.