SOML committed to improving healthcare-seeking  behavior in Abia — Official



The Saving One Million Lives (SOML) Initiative in Abia says the organisation is committed to improving the healthcare-seeking behaviour of women for pregnancy and common childhood illnesses.

Nwachukwu said this in an interview with newsmen in Umuahia on Wednesday, adding that the initiative was introduced to combat maternal and child mortality in Nigeria.

He said that the initiative, which is a Federal Government performance-based health programme, was being funded by the federal government with the support of the  World Bank.

According to her, the people are responding well to the programme because we created awarenesses and sensitised the populace through the council of traditional rulers.

“We conducted town hall meetings, went to the markets to sensitise the people about the programme and the need to access government’s healthcare facilities for their health needs,” she said.

Nwachukwu advised Abia women to take advantage of the avenue provided by the government to get their children immunised and visit primary healthcare centers for affordable antenatal care.

She expressed delight that recent developments indicated that maternal and child mortality in the country had declined.

Nwachukwu said that increased vaccination coverage, Vitamin A supplementation, enlightenment on use of insecticide treated nets and HIV testing and counseling for pregnant women, encouraged improved healthcare-seeking behaviour.

She said there was room for improvement and that SOML, through its comprehensive strategies in partnership with Abia government, was poised to improve healthcare delivery.

Nwachukwu further said that the group provides support to the government through public enlightenment, provision of essential commodities and technical support in making critical decisions for the survival of mother and child.

She said: “SOML initiative started in 2017 in Abia. We are working with Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency and Ministry of Health.

“We target six key indicators. In Children, we support nutrition, especially vitamin A supplementation, immunisation, mainly PENTA vaccine and malaria control for under fives.

“For mothers of child bearing age, we support them in HIV counselling and testing, family planning, and skilled birth attendance to make sure they deliver in facilities where there are skilled healthcare workers.

“We help in the distribution of vitamin A to promote vitamin A supplementation.

“We help mothers to understand the importance of planned child bearing through family planning and provide HIV test kits and counseling.

“We distribute mosquito nets to rural communities through the Local Government healthcare centers.

“We supervise these exercises in the health centers to ensure their success,” Nwachukwu said.

She said that a large number of children under five and women of child bearing age had been reached through the SOML initiative in Abia.

She said that the impact of the interface had been yielding positive results.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sam Oditah
Source: NAN


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