Promoting Maternal and Child Health (MCH) in Rijana Community, Kaduna state
‘I appreciate what SFH has done for our community, I remember when I requested for your presence during a town hall meeting we had, I wanted my people to learn more and stay healthy. Your impact and intervention made it possible for us to record good health in this community especially with women and children. Our women now know what to do when their children have diarrhoea, people are now more mindful and keep their environment clean, we now know the difference between child limiting and child spacing. Thank you’ – Sarki (community leader) of Rijana
The SFH mandate through the Expanded Social Marketing Project In Nigeria(ESMPIN); a USAID funded project, is to improve the health of women and children in Nigeria and reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality by expanding and improving knowledge of, access to, and sustained use of Family Planning (FP) (particularly modern contraceptive methods), Reproductive Health services (RH), prevention and appropriate treatment of malaria, and Maternal and Child Health (MCH) methods and products nationwide.
It is in this regard that the ESMPIN project conducted an integrated outreach in Rijana Community Kachia LGA Kaduna state on 26th May, 2016. The outreach served as an opportunity to provide Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services and re-emphasise ESMPIN key messages (on Family Planning, Diarrhoea management, Nutrition and Malaria) in exited communities.
The one day outreach witnessed the presence of the SFH team and over 150 community members including the Sarki (traditional leader) and his council members. It created an opportunity for some of the community members to give their testimonies on how ESMPIN interventions have improved their lives.
Testimonials ranged across successful uptake of modern contraceptive methods for child spacing by women in the community, prevention and treatment of malaria and diarrhoea following lessons learnt from the demand creation intervention done by ESMPIN’s trained Interpersonal Communication Agents (IPCAs) in the community.
There was a short drama which put together all the ESMPIN key messages in a concise and engaging manner. The event featured free Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for Malaria which is an alternate way of quickly establishing the diagnosis of malaria infection by detecting specific malaria antigens in a person’s blood; participants received Long Lasting Insecticide Net (LLIN) at a subsidised rate, and were also re-educated on how to use P&G Purifier of water. Additionally, the community outreach team carried out free HIV tests through mobile testing units and donated some packs of P&G Purifier of Water to the community.
Through innovation and partnership, the SFH team conducted a successful outreach that improved the community’s knowledge of and access to Family Planning, Malaria and Reproductive Health services and commodities. #togetherwecan improve Maternal and Child Health one community at a time!