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UNICEF engages 6,460 volunteers to improve health, economic standards of women in Bauchi

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The United Nations Children’s Education’s Fund (UNICEF), Bauchi Field Office, says it has invested in 6,460 volunteers to work rigorously on improvement health and economic standards of women in Bauchi state.

A Health Officer of UNICEF’s Bauchi Field Office, Mr Oluseyi Olosunde made this known in Gombe on Thursday during a media dialogue on investing in women to promote community health systems in commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD).

According to him, it was imperative to empower women with knowledge and education about health related issues as well as empower them economically by becoming self reliance.

He said these, would later in turn to improve the health status of both the women, the infants, newborn babies and further reduce the maternal and child mortality, saying a well informed women translate to a well informed societies.

Olosunde said the volunteers, under the aegis of Mama2Mama Women Support Groups were effectively trained on active Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) case findings, Health Education and Referral to reduce morbidity and mortality amongst pregnant women and babies in Bauchi state.

The UNICEF Health Officer explained that the groups intend to promote, improve knowledge and attitudes on reproductive, maternal and child health as well as the economic standards of women across the state.

“The mama2mama volunteers also access trade training during meetings to step down to the women for economic empowerment.

“The composition of he mama2mama group was based on an existing community structure in each ward of the state.

“Each ward has two to three groups to pass the desired knowledge to households in the wards.

“During monthly meetings, each volunteer summit reports using the data tool on referrals and case findings.

“The case finding for the volunteers in this context is to identify new antenatal defaulters and track under-One children for immunization.

“For health education, the mama2mama groups engage community members on household practice,” he said.

According to him the volunteers were spearheaded by health workers in the communities to broaden their knowledge, coach and monitor their activities.

He added that the groups work with operational guidelines to meet up with the expected adjectives.

In her contribution,a member of the Mama2Mama volunteer from Bauchi state, Mrs Furera Aliyu, said that barriers and rejections on uptake of services are forwarded to be further addressed by the community, religious leaders and ward Development Committee to resolve issues around rejections.

She said that the action was a clear indication of volunteerism, commitment and passion to reduce the burden of Maternal and child mortality.

Aliyu said the passion for saving and advocating for the promotion of good health and economic independence amongst rural dwellers removed all forms of fear despite insecurity challenges.

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