The National Orientation Agency (NOA), in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Friday organized a training workshop for the media on Essential Family Practice (EFP) in Niger state, with a view to creating awareness on the practices and how to counter the low uptake of EFP in the state.
EFP practices include: immunization, exclusive breastfeeding, handwashing, antenatal care and health seeking behaviors.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-day training workshop, which drew participants from the print and electronic media houses in Niger state, aimed to increase participants’ knowledge and understanding of the five key EFP practices, according to Malam Bala Musa, UNICEF Focal Officer in NOA.
He said the training was also to identify and discuss the behavioural factors influencing the low uptake of EFP in Niger state and build consensus on ways the media can increase demand.
In his opening remarks, Malam Yahaya Obongbo, NOA State Director, said that the training was to brainstorm on how the media can create more awareness on the importance of EFP.
Mrs Adeola Olunloyo, Communication for Development Specialist (C4D), UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, explained that EFP were life-saving, low cost interventions, developed to maximize children’s lives in life threatening situations.
Olunloyo said that UNICEF was engaging the media to help promote EFP for mothers and caregivers, as some indicators had shown that only four out of ten children were fully immunized at age one and only 25 per cent of women practice exclusive breastfeeding in Niger.
She added that the plan was to improve EFP among households to ensure that every child was healthy and survived, as well as developed.
Also, Dr Ahmed Tsofo, Health Specialist at the UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, disclosed that only 41.5 per cent of women were getting antenatal care from skilled health providers, adding that many pregnant women do not go for antenatal as approved.
He added that antenatal and immunization were important for pregnant women, to prevent children from diseases such as tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and hepatitis B.
Similarly, Miss Teni Shiru, UNICEF C4D state Team Lead, urged the media to help create awareness on the importance of every woman having safe birth in the hands of a skilled birth attendant.
Shiru said that this measure was meant to save the lives of women and their babies during child birth, adding that about 110 women in Nigeria lose their lives from problems associated with pregnancy and child birth every day. (NAN)