Abia health profile higher than nation’s, says commissioner
ABIA State Health Commissioner, Dr Okechukwu Ogah has indicated that the state’s health profile is better/ higher than that of the national going by the 2013 Smart Survey, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of 2011 and Data from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency of 2014.
The Commissioner stated this while reacting to the allegation credited to the state All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) gubernatorial candidate in this year’s election, Dr. Alex Otti as published in a national newspaper of 10 January this year.
In the newspaper report, Otti was reported to have said that “Abia State has the highest infant and maternal mortality in Nigeria”, an allegation which Ogah described as mere propaganda, false, political jingoism and a statement that lacks facts.
He consequently directed those interested in knowing the true health profile and statistics of the state to consult the Smart Survey of 2013, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of 2011 and the Data from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency of 2014.
According to him, these are documents supported and endorsed by credible agencies/bodies such as World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, UNFPA and USAID, stressing that “in these reports, the health profile of Abia state is better than the national profile”.
Specifically, he stated in a press release dated 11th January 2015 that in one of these reports, the infant mortality for Abia is 74 per 1000 live births compared to the south east zonal value of 83 per 1000 and national value of 97 per 1000 live births, while the Under -5 mortality of Abia state was put at 116 compared to 132 and 153 for the south east zone and nation respectively.
With respect to childhood immunization, he said that the coverage for any immunization in 2014 is 95.5 % compared to 89.7 % for national as against the national target of 90% while the DPT3/PENTAX 3 performance in Abia for the year 2014 was 78.8 % as against a national value of 52.2%.
He asserted that these immunization data are verifiable from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency/WHO hence he advised politicians to be constructive in their statements and desist from making assertions without facts adding that one of the sectors that the state government of Theodore Orji has made investment in, is the health sector which he said , has undergone unprecedented transformation since the state creation.