FG, Donors Unveil Innovative Initiative To Improve Health Literacy In 3 States

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The Federal Government in collaboration with Breakthrough Action Nigeria, an NGO, has launched an innovation `Albishirin Ku’ to improve health literacy and positive health-seeking behaviours among Nigerians on Maternal, Neonatal Child Health and Nutrition.
The initiative was aimed at improving Maternal, Neonatal Child Health Plus Nutrition (MNCH+N) in Kebbi, Sokoto and Bauchi States.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, represented by Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, the Director of Family Health, launched Breakthrough Action – Nigeria Umbrella Identity christened `Albishirin Ku’ in Abuja.
The minister commended the Breakthrough Action Nigeria for the initiative, noting that the initiative applies state of art methods in social and behaviour change approaches to engage individuals and increase awareness on health and social issues.
“Albishirin Ku will stimulate demand and contribute to the improvement of service delivery which will ultimately lead to positive maternal and child health outcomes in Kebbi, Sokoto and Bauchi States,’’ he said.
He added that the project was borne out of the need to support the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to produce a quick and visible impact that will affect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians especially the vulnerable group.
Ehanire reiterated the commitment of the government to combating the issues challenging the health of Nigerian women, children and adolescents, adding that government is committed at ensuring Universal Health Coverage was in place to ensure no one was left behind.
The USAID Mission Director, Mr Stephen Haykin, represented by Ms Minal Amin, said USAID worked in close collaboration with government e to improve health outcomes in a wide range of areas.
“Through Breakthrough Action Nigeria project USAID deploys people-centred approaches that create shifts in social-cultural norms and encourage new ways for people and communities to consider their health and how best to take care of it.
“The campaign will deliver cultural and life-stage appropriate messages to address knowledge, attitude and norms that have the potential to save lives.
The First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, represented by Dr Zainab Bagudu, wife of Kebbi State governor, expressed optimism that the project would address many health challenges in the project states.
She also called on the federal government and other key players to consider expanding the project to better outcomes in the country.
“I do hope that if there is funding and using the community influencers like the traditional and religious leaders to influence it we will be able to see some impact,’’ she said.
She said Kebbi state was one of the beneficiaries of the programme and assured that the state would use the socio-behavioural approach to change the behaviours of the people to address many health challenges.
She noted that most of the challenges in the state were the way people react to access health.
“Do the women go to the hospital when they need to; do the women feel it is right for them to go to the hospital when they have pains or they will just endure the pains.
“We are hoping to use messages; education to reach the women at various communities using drama, plays and jingles.
“It is nothing new really but it was packed in a culturally appropriate and target certain areas,’’ she said. (NAN)