By Ndidi Chukwu
Nigeria has witnessed increased advocacy for all stakeholders’ involvement against childhood killer diseases, promotion of family planning, nutrition and increased domestic budget and timely release of funds for vaccines procurement, since seven indigenous Civil Societies Organisations formed a coalition for evidenced based advocacy in Nigeria.
The coalition, Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH), programmatic focus is to combat childhood killer diseases caused by Pneumonia and Diarrhea, reduce the number of women who due to child birth, and promote Nutrition and Routine Immunisation.
Traditional Leaders in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Wednesday pledged to support the PACFaH project by lending voices to promote issues of Routine Immunisation, Family Planning, Nutrition and other health awareness programmes going on in Nigeria.
In a meeting organised by a PACFaH member, Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria, (FOMWAN) which is leading in the mobilisation of constituencies of religious and traditional leaders and women groups to support the PACFaH projects, His Royal Majesty, the Ona of Abaji, Alhaji (Dr) Adamu Baba Yunusa, said the council of traditional rulers in the FCT is committed to promote and enlighten their subjects on health.
Yunusa who was represented by Alhaji Abubakar Amin, said the traditional rulers in Nigeria are key partners and are available to work with partners in the project which is for the benefit and development of their communities.
“We will continue to admonish our people, and enlighten them on what is best for their health” said Yunusa while emphasising the need for more community awareness programmes to communities.
The Traditional Leaders pledged to increase health awareness in their town hall meetings, “before now we advise our men to allow their wives and children to attend antenatal, and immunise children now we will include family planning as we have been told today” he said.
“traditional rulers are highly respected and chosen by their communities because of their track record, as such, PACFaH considers them the right target group to reach communities as respected custodians of community norm and values in Nigeria” FOMWAN Programme Director, Farida Sada Yusuf said.
Among its area of interest where the traditional rulers can lend their voices are:
- Implementation of N-SPAN at National level and adoption of the plan in 3 states with dedicated budget line and timely release of funds.
- To advocate for adequate funding for Family planning with budget line at national level to implement its programme and family planning blue print.
- Adopt Amoxixilin dispensable tablets as first line treatment for pneumonia and scale up Zinc/ORS for diarrhea treatment and to
- Increase domestic budget and ensure timely release of funds for Immunisation in Nigeria.