Monday, 5 May 2008

CHIEF commends Media advocacy for MNCH

The Health Journalist Immersion Project for the media advocacy for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) has been described as one of the most effective means for ensuring the improvement and implementation of all health policies especially those that relate to women and children. This assessment was made by Mrs. Remi Akinmade, Executive Director of Community Health Information Education Forum (CHIEF), a non-governmental Organization during a courtesy visit made by Devcoms to their office in Lekki, Lagos.

According to her, health mortality and morbidity rates have remained high in Nigeria largely due to ignorance. There is an urgent need to bring health information education communication to the doorsteps of individuals, families and communities. This is the point where concerted efforts by grassroot organizations such as CHIEF, in active partnership with journalists would reveal the health realities so as to educate the public. This would also ensure that policy makers know exactly where there are gaps in policy implementation and practices that would ameliorate them.

She stated that correct information is vital as it has saved the lives of many community women, especially when it was difficult for them to access health care services. Through proper information, they know how to take better care of themselves and their children, understand the need to attend ante-natal clinics, and know when it becomes imperative that they access healthcare.

She urged other organizations to partner with Devcoms to bring about the needed change in the implementation of maternal, newborn and child health policies in Nigeria. Akinmade urged the media not to relent in the effort at drawing attention to the inadequacies in our health care system especially as it concerns women and children who are, most times, the vulnerable and unvoiced segments of the society.

CHIEF is grass-root organization based in Lekki, Lagos whose vision is to promote grass-root health development, communication and care. Amongst their objective is to reduce maternal/infant morbidity and mortality rate through establishment of primary health clinics/outreach clinics and to promote home-based care in the community.

By Nnenna Ike

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