By Victor Ogunyinka
In a bid to ensure that women and children have access and explore health facilities in the country, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Information organised a three day workshop to educate stakeholders from eight states on communication and delivery for the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Week (MNCHW) and measles campaign.
The programme had stakeholders from the Ministry of Information, health workers, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA), academia and the media from Delta, Edo, Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo states all converged at Kakanfo Inn, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The crux of the workshop, according to the director, National Orientation Agency, Lagos State, Waheed Ishola, include “development and decision on key approaches for delivering effectively the communication activities for the MNCHW and measles campaign.
“Determine what specific things communication for behaviour and social change should be doing in respect of some identified programme intervention thrusts/areas and how it should be done.”
The Communication Officer and, Advocacy, Media and External Relations, Blessing Ejiofor, while speaking on ‘elements of media in campaign’ explained that stakeholders in the health sector and the media MNCHW is done twice a year, stressing that it’s an avenue for women and children to access a lot of health facilities all at once.
“Every child, women and newborn have the opportunity of accessing a lot of health facilities at a one-stop shop but unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know about it and the benefits of the programme. The media should lead in sensitising the community in any form, either by advertorials, cartoons, features and other means,” she said.
Furthermore, while speaking on ‘Sanitation and hygiene promotion through MNCHW’, the Head of Sanitation, Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Engr(Mrs) Sanni Anibire explained that without good environment and water, there isn’t good health, adding that the community sometimes know what to do but don’t know how to go about it.
“The simple act of handwashing goes a long way in reducing the spread of diseases, including diarrhoea, which is the second deadliest disease on children.”
……. World Toilet Day: 49m Nigerians defecate in the open
Meanwhile, November 19 has been consecrated as a day to mark the world toilet day and the theme for this year is ‘toilet and nutrition’.
While expantiating on the need for handwashing and cleanliness, Engr Anibire explained further that reports have revealed that about 49m Nigerians still practise open defecation, making us one of the worst in the world.
“Sometimes, it’s not poverty that makes people use the open for defecation but the ignorant of its effect on health. It’s important to work with the media in sensitising the public on this anomaly.
“We are all involved in this one way or the other; we go to parties and travel by road where we sometimes don’t get toilet facilities and thereby settling for the obvious. Even if you don’t practise open defecation, you might one day, get infected by the activities of those that do,” she said.