A cross section of newly inaugurated CHIPS Agents. Photo: Murtala Muhammad
By Murtala Muhammad
Bauchi State Government has called on the newly inaugurated 1,066 Community Health, Influencers, Promoters and Services, CHIPS agents to enlighten mothers on the importance and benefits of antenatal, hospital based delivery, promote exclusive breastfeeding and Immunisation.
The State Executive Chairman Primary Health Care Development Agency Dr Rilwanu Mohammed who made the call at the inauguration of the CHIPS agents in Bauchi said out of the total number of agents 800 were women.
Dr Mohammed said the mandate of the CHIPS agents was to persuade and influence mothers on the need to imbibe the culture of antenatal and hospital based delivery as well as routine immunisation for improved Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health, MNCH.
Also speaking, the North East Zonal Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Mai Yakubu who said Bauchi is one of the 26 states that commenced implementation of the CHIPS programme, urged the agents to prioritise their communities and the state at large, instead of the monthly stipend to be given to them.
The Chief of UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Dr Tushar Rane noted that UNICEF supported the State Primary Health Care Development Agency in revitalizing Community Health System which started in 2017 with implementation of Integrated Community Case Management where 2000 Community Resources Persons were trained and kitted.
Dr Rane represented by Mr Oluseyi Olusunde said the aim is to create healthcare access to underserved population across the state.
While lamenting on the major challenge for quality service delivery in Primary Health Care facilities the Chief of UNICEF Bauchi Field Office commended the state government over the the recent employment of 138 midwives and the 1000 health workers.
In their separate remarks, the representatives of World Health Organisation (WHO) Bill and Melinda Gates and Dangote Foundations as well as USAID funded Breakthrough Action Nigeria and Integrated Health Program, IHP reassured commitment to the state government to improve its healthcare system.
Highlights of the event, was the presentation of kits and group photographs by each of the Local Government teams.