Community Awareness Development Initiative (CADI), an NGO, has embarked on a tour rural communities in Sokoto state to sensitise residents to the need to access improved health care services.
Alhaji Sani Umar-Jabbi, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the NGO, told the newsmen on Wednesday in Sokoto that the communities were being mobilised to understand the importance of maternal health, immunisation, and girl-child education, among other issues.
“This sensitises the communities to demand for improved health care services and take ownership of health programmes.
“Our 2018 end of year review report indicated that pregnant women, new-borns and nursing mothers are demanding for increased supply of life-enhancing drugs.
“Most rural dwellers are at present asking for Miso-prosol tablet – the drug used to stop excessive bleeding above 500ml of blood after child birth.
“Other drugs usually being demanded during our interactive sessions is also Chlorohexidine used for the protection of the umbilical cord of a new-born against sepsis infection,” he said.
Umar-Jabbi, who is Sarkin Yakin Gagi/District Head of Gagi, said that the NGO had intensified efforts at promoting community awareness of the importance of all forms of immunisation, reproductive health and dangers of Vesico-Virginal Fistula (VVF), among others.
According to him, the NGO is involving Ward Development Committee members and other Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) in the state in efforts to strengthen advocacy on health issues.
“Most sensitisations are being organised in urban centres and at local government headquarters, which mainly attract residents of cities and in the process, marginalising rural dwellers,” he said.
According to him, CADI organised town hall meetings on health issues at Chimmola, Tsaki, Gandi, Dabagin Ardo, Achida, Gande and Gidan Madi rural communities with the aim of uplifting their living standard.
He called for increased community involvement in health policies, stressing that involving traditional and community leaders in drugs administration would ensure wider coverage.
According to him, health workers face many challenges of acceptability, transfers, transportation and scheme ownership which are minimal when compared to using community leaders.
He said that the requested drugs were essential ones needed for the prevention of maternal and infant deaths.
The traditional ruler noted that CADI mostly supported the communities with drugs received from development partners to complement government’s effort.
He added that the NGO was in partnership with Save One Million Lives Initiative and other organisations such as UNFPA and DRPC to create awareness in communities and ensure wider health coverage and community ownership of health-related programmes.
Umar-Jabbi urged people to access health facilities available in their areas.
He also urged health workers to live up to the expectation of the people on healthcare delivery.
He advised husbands against preventing their wives from accessing ante-natal care and other immunisations, saying that doing so would be detrimental to their health.
The district head advised women to always patronise health centres for child birth and other medical consultations.
According him, prolonged labour remains the major cause of VVF based on studies carried out by experts.
He urged Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) and WDCs to intensify sensitisation of to the need for them to seek proper medical attention.
The NGO was set up to among other things, train professional health workers and to provide training in leadership skills, ensure equitable distribution of workers, as well as encourage new child-birth registration, to ensure proper planning.