Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
The United States Agency International Development (USAID) through Breakthrough Action Nigeria has advocated for good social and behavioural approaches in solving the healthcare deficits in Kebbi State, which has a neonatal mortality of 10,464 annually, according to expert analysis.
Programne Manager of State Emergency Maternal and Child Health Intervention Centre (SEMCHC) Mr Bello A. Aliyu stated this while given his analysis on child mortality rate in Kebbi during the launch of “Albishirin Ku”, a social slogan for behavioral changes towards healthcare.
“Neonatal mortality is 10,464 annually, with 94 PHC, 374 health clinics and 331 health posts,” Aliyu said.
Deputy Project Director of Breakthrough Action Nigeria, Dr Shittu Abdul-Aguye, while speaking on the trend, said that “we want to break all the barriers and misunderstanding, especially all norms and cultural beliefs which prevent people from seeking healthcare.”
He noted that the launch of the social and behavioural changes slogan would connect the USAID with rural dwellers who are mostly affected by the healthcare challenges.
USAID Kebbi State Coordinator Dr Samil Olaniyi explained that the Agency has constituted religious and traditional community forums to address various health challenges in the state, stressing that their programmes have recorded successes because the state government had provided its counterpart funding and rendered other support.
In her remark, wife of the State Governor, Dr Zainab Skinkafi Bagudu, disclosed that the routine immunisation coverage in the state has increased from 17 percent in 2015 to 74 percent in 2018.
“The Albishirin Ku programme has come at a time when Kebbi State’s maternal and Child health narrative is drastically changing. The State Government under Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu had prioritised the health sector and improved maternal and child health with several programmes that key into national plans,” the Kebbi First Lady said.
“And we are actually reversing the negative health indices in the State. The most noteworthy is the jump in routine immunisation coverage from a meagre 17% in 2015 to 74% in 2018.”