By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Thirteen states of the federation including,, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Kwara, Niger, Taraba, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa, Ogun, Osun and Delta States are currently benefiting from health and peace initiative supported by the Global Fund (GF).
The organisation driving the health programme, Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN) said it has so far commenced work on the prevention, treatment and mitigation of the impact of Malaria, as well as the promotion of immunization and better nutrition in the thirteen states in Nigeria.
The sates are also benefiting from peace building initiative of ACOMIN among the warring communities.
While presenting its report at a conference in Abuja, ACOMIN
said that conflicts between communities and/or individuals had led to lower patronage of GF-supported health facilities in some of the states before ACOMIN’s interventions.
“By facilitating the resolution of some of these conflicts, this project has increased patronage of the health centres, thereby reducing the risk of medicines and health commodities going bad in the stores of the facilities. Some of the places where this happened include: Ifelodun LGA, Kwara State – where two communities that have been in conflict for many years agreed to put aside their differences and work towards peace following the intervention of the team from ACOMIN.
The report said the team embarked upon advocacy visits to the traditional leaders of both communities when they saw that members of one community were shunning the GF supported Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) because it was located in the neighbouring community which they considered as enemies.
Similar peace-building advocacy visits were carried out in Jikuchi community, Bosso LGA Niger state, Oke-Ijemo community in Abeokuta South LGA, Ogun State and Sabon Gari community in Chikun LGA, Kaduna State.
The group which is partnering with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) under the ongoing Global Fund (GF) Malaria Grant for the implementation of the civil society component said because health centres are the first point of call when serious health challenges arise there was the need to ensure standards in hygiene, safety and the like in any building being used for healthcare because matters pertaining to life and death get addressed there.
“Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) are the closest health facilities to rural communities.
Without PHCs, residents of rural communities may be left stranded, or be subjected to much more difficulty when they need to access quality health services. This is why ACOMIN makes effort to ensure that the PHCs are in good enough shape to serve people.
It said so far, several PHCs have gotten renovated as a result of our efforts. These include the PHC in Minjibir LGA of Kano State, Odowara PHC in Ife East LGA Osun state and Olooti Iragbiji health facility in Boripe LGA Osun state. Also, Adagbrassa PHC in Okpe LGA, Delta State was reopened due to our intervention after being shut down for about a year,” it said.
According to ACOMIN’s report people in hard-to-reach areas often get denied of health services or go through increased difficulty to access health services, leading to unnecessary morbidity and high mortality rates .
To reduce the difficulties, suffering and deaths caused by Malaria in these places, ACOMIN said it has taken malaria interventions to the following communities; Kaboji community in Niger State; Chambaji community in Yola South LGA, Adamawa State and some other communities in Yobe and Gombe states.
Other successes recorded by ACOMIN health initiative, include, rehabilitation of health facilities in Ubandawaki community of Daura LGA, Katsina State where existing health facility has deteriorated due to years of being deprived of support services.