By Ndidi Chukwu
As part of its commitment to boost advocacy and sensitisation for collaborative efforts towards the improvement of Maternal and Child Health in Nigeria, the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH) has urged Faith Based Organisations and Women Groups in Nigeria to support awareness to attain improved maternal and child health services in the country.
PACFaH Cordinator Dr. Muhammad Saleh, urged the participants at a one day sensitization meeting on issue areas with representatives of faith based community organisations and women groups, to support the coalition to improve government’s accountability to deliver on its commitments to improve child and family health in Nigeria.
Women groups, and faith based community organisations across the country have significant role to play by joining their voices with PACFaH to demand for “action” on commitments for Child and Family Health both at national and state level, “their voices matters that is why we are involving them, we make them know what those commitments are and how to demand for results, ask questions especially those at rural communities, this will go a long way to trigger the change we want to see in the health sector” said Muhammad Saleh.
PACFaH a coalition of eight indigenous Civil Society Organisations, engages on evidence based, high impact advocacy to improve Nigeria Government’s accountability to deliver on commitments by increasing budgets and expenditures, enacting policies and guidelines in support of improved Child and Family Health.
The coalition according to Saleh seeks to improve, Routine Immunisation programme in Nigeria, Nutrition, Access to Family Planning, End Pneumonia and Diarrhoea infections in children among others,
“The faith based organisation can help to mitigate the dangers of women and children dying through advocacy for increased funding for programme implementation by government at all levels” said Project Director Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) Hajia Farida Sada Yusuf.
She said increased advocacy for adequate funding for family planning, routine immunisation, nutrition, and other health interventions will result to reduced rate of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria. “The choice of engaging faith based organisations is apt because they are well respected and recognised by the society partners in mobilising governments and people to take action for positive changes” said Yusuf.
She expressed optimism on the ability of FBOs to trigger positive changes that produces more public sector investment in all child and family health programmes and services to save the lives of women and children.