The Imo State Government has been urged to establish health facilities in the communities to increase access to health care delivery to those at the grassroots.

A UNICEF consultant, Mrs. Ngozi Dike, made the call at Amagu, Ihube in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State during an advocacy visit embarked by National Orientation Agency (NOA) with support from UNICEF.

Mrs. Dike expressed regret that many lives, especially those of children, were often lost due to lack of access to health care.

The UNICEF consultant encouraged women of the area to maintain good hygiene, seek antenatal care and ensure exclusive breastfeeding of babies to reduce maternal mortality and infant morbidity.

The Imo State Director of the NOA, Mr. Vitus Ekeocha, said ten out of fifteen selected communities had been sensitized to the need to establish what he described as Ward Development Committee that would help to reorient the rural dwellers and facilitate routine immunization.

He said the measure became necessary due to decline in immunization of children from some communities in the state, noting that people were being discouraged from protecting their children due to misinformation that the vaccines were harmful.

Mr. Ekeocha stressed the need for families to ensure they own toilet facilities to end open defecation, which had been threatening the health of many Nigerians.

The leader of women from Amagu Ihube in Okigwe Local Government Area, Mrs. Cecilia Okorie, said lack of health facilities was a big challenge to the community and called on the government and other public spirited individuals to come to their aid.

The women promised to put what they learnt from the programme to practice.