NOA, UNICEF Enlighten 5,000 Community Members On Child Survival In Kaduna

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By: Mayen Etim

KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – No fewer than 5,000 community members in Kaduna State are being enlightened on child killer diseases and ways to preventing them by the National Orientation Agency, (NOA), with support from UNICEF.

A Deputy Director in NOA, Malam Hamza Audu, disclosed on Thursday during one of the dialogue sessions in Dutsen Mai, Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

Both agencies had been reaching out to not less than 70 communities in Soba, Lere, Kudan, Giwa and Igabi Local Government Areas of the state through community dialogue.

Audu said that the measure was to tackle infant and maternal mortalities in the state by teaching parents the essential family practices that could guarantee survival of their children.

He said that women and children in the state were dying from preventable diseases such as: pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles, malaria and malnutrition.

He said that deaths from such diseases could be prevented with information and knowledge on how to tackle them, particularly, through essential family practices.

Audu listed some of the essential family practices as: good nutrition practices that includes exclusive breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding; good sanitation and hygiene, and compliance with polio vaccine and routine immunisation.

Others are regular health facility visit to hospitals for ante-natal and post-natal treatments and encouraging pregnant women to give births in hospitals as against giving births at private homes.

He added that parents should also ensure that their children sleep under treated mosquito nets, and the public to avoid open defecation.

UNICEF Focal Person in NOA office in Kaduna, and coordinator of the dialogue, Malam Lawal Haruna, said that 12million children die globally every year before their fifth birthday.

He said that malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea were responsible for more than 50 per cent of the deaths among children who were less than five years in Nigeria.

Haruna said that the main goal of the dialogue was to enlist the support of community members to promote the adoption of essential family practices and routine immunisation.

“We are equally advising community members to discourage violence and exploitation against women and children in their communities.

“What we hope to achieve at the end of the dialogue is a commitment from the community members for positive behavioural change to ensure children survival and development,” he said.

A community member, Malam Isiaku Mohammed, acknowledged that women in the community rarely attended ante-natal care, saying the rate at which they were usually vaccinated against polio and go for routine immunization was equally low.

“The dialogue had equipped us with relevant information that would make us have attitudinal change towards key households practices,” he said.

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