By Bilkisu Ado Zango
NGOs are pushing the agenda of Child and Family Health via media advocacy under the PACFaH project. The team were invited to TVC station in Lagos on Thursday 9th July 2015 for a thirty minutes media chart in the programme titled; Health Matters. It will go down memory lane that two panel sessions were facilitated and PACFaH team were selected based on issue leads and area of scope to speak out. The organisations in the team were from CHR, CISLAC, FOMWAN, CS-SUNN, AAFP, PSN, CISLAC and HERFON.
CHR was in the first panel and dwelt on immunization coverage progress nationwide from 48% to 50% between 2012 and 2013 with 87% currently while shading light on new vaccines introduced between 2015-2018 to bring more result in immunization programme and improve survival chance of children. The second panel session featured AAFP, FOMWAN and PSN group who answered questions from audience comprising of CSOs and journalists in line with child and family health.
PACFaH called on Nigerian Government to;
- Increase domestic budget for Routine Immunization (RI) and ensure timely release of funds for vaccines procurement and logistics, where additional vaccines introduced should be adequately provided to save more lives of Nigerian Children
- Strengthen the accountability mechanism for RI in line with National Routine Immunization Strategic Plan.
- Full implementation of the National Health Act.
- Ensure full implementation of National Nutrition Plan
- Ensure adequate use of local food available in our communities and the need to sensitize people on utilizing such food
- Ensure availability of family planning commodities and utilization at all levels.
- Increase federal and state funding for FP commodities
- Increase the use of Zinc and Oral Rehydration Solutions in the management of childhood diarrheal diseases
In a related development on the same day, the team paid an advocacy visit to the Lagos State Office of the Secretary to State Government (SSG) and received by a Permanent Secretary Mrs Folashade to push the agenda of Child and Family Health to the highest policy level. Responding Mrs Folashade who thanked the team, demonstrated interest in the PACFaH struggle in promoting Child and Family Health in Nigeria and promised to pass the message of advocacy visit to Executive Governor through SSG.