Nigeria: Group Trains Ward Development Heads On Engaging Duty Bearers To Finance Maternal Health

By Longtong Ibrahim

Over forty five Ward Development Committee Chairmen in 15 Local Government Areas of Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria, have been trained on understanding how to voice and engage Government officials towards financing maternal health.

The training which was organized by Family Health Advocates in Nigeria (FHANI) with support from Nigeria Urban and Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) is aim at ensuring the rate of women dying as a result of pregnancy related complications or child birth in Kaduna state drops to the barest minimum.

Report of the National Demographic Health survey in 2008 shows that, maternal mortality ratio in Kaduna state was 800/100,000 live births (about 1 death for every 12 pregnant women).

According to the Assistant Secretary of FHANI, Iliya Kure, Child Birth spacing (CBS) has been identified as one major means that could reduce maternal mortality; as such there is the need for people at the grassroots to be enlightened on its importance.

He noted that the beneficiaries of the training would further educate their fellow community members on the need to space child birth and ensure that facilities at their communities are working, while on the other hand engage government officials who are duty bearers on financing health at community levels, especially family planning.

“We want to see a situation where these communities are enlightened and empowered on how to engage government and how to demand for accountability because they elect leaders and so the leaders are responsible to them. It will bring about accountability and transparency in governance

“Leaders are supposed to be accountable, transparent and be participatory – the community needs to be part of government and governance by having their opinion captured for government to work with including those who are vulnerable like women and people with disability.

“Leaders need to lead with voice of this people and be in tune with what the people want for the advancement of leadership,” he stressed.

In the composition of the participants, Kure said, they are all members of ward development committee, facility committee, including religious leaders, traditional rulers and community based organizations who work in the facilities at ward level (grassroots).

In a remark, the Deputy Chief Imam of Central Mosque Kafanchan, Mohammed Kabiru Kassim, also emphasized the need for community members and adherence of both religions to be enlighten on the importance of child spacing, saying both religion support it.

“We want to see child birth spacing becomes a social norm where everyone would be talking about it and it becomes part of us,” he added.

Family Health Advocates in Nigeria (FHANI) is a body established in November, 2010 to help in advocating issues around family planning, policies, and health financing.

Posted by on 30/04/2017. Filed under Health, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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