UNICEF Advocates More Investment in Women’s Health

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The United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF), has called on stakeholders to invest more in women so as to promote good healthcare system in the country.

The Chief UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Dr Tushar Rane, made the call during a two-day media dialogue with journalists in Gombe State North West Nigeria to commemorate the 2024 International Women’s Day.

The media dialogue, organised by UNICEF Nigeria Bauchi Field office, showcased the successes recorded by its Mama2Mama initiative an initiative that has improved health outcomes of Gombe, Bauchi, and Taraba states.

Dr Rane said the International Women’s Day serves as a powerful reminder of the progress women made and the work that still lies ahead.

He stated remarkable achievements of Mama2Mama support group in the health sector in the field office states – Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba.

“These group of women often act as health advocates and educators within their communities. They raise awareness about health issues and encourage community members to seek healthcare when needed.

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“Their involvement fosters community cohesion and increases the effectiveness of health interventions also the investment in women through the mama2mama initiative, including strengthening women’s knowledge of community health systems has contributed to positive health outcomes in the field office focus states,” said Dr Rane.

Mr Rane further stated that the objective of the media engagement was to expose journalists and other stakeholders to the important role of women in enhancing health outcomes and also to explore avenues on how to amplify the role of women and gender equality in community health systems.

While acknowledging the role of women as social advocates, educators, and change agents, the health officer UNICEF Bauchi Field Office Oluseyi Olosunde said that there is need for continuous support and involvement in empowering women to lead and participate in RMNCAH efforts for better health outcomes within communities.

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Olosunde, who presented a paper titled: “The Optics of Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) in Bauchi Field Office,” said there was the need for women empowerment towards improved maternal child health. He cautioned women to avoid practicing child delivery at home in order to enhance their chances of survival during and after delivery.

“Six out of ten deliveries take place at home while in others, eight out of 10 childbirths are done at home, thereby exposing the babies to lean chances of survival due to attendance by unskilled child delivery personnel. Every child delivery at home poses serious danger to the mother in case of breach during labor, as the home lacks necessary equipment to detect the problem with a view to tackling it,” he said.

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Also in her presentation, titled “Women as Agents of Change,” Kabati Tokara described the Woman2Woman initiative as a game changer, saying the volunteer group has changed the narrative in healthcare delivery in the Bauchi Field Office which comprised Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba states.

The Media Dialogue with theme: “Invest in Women-Accelerate Progress,” drew media practitioners from the Bauchi UNICEF Field Office, comprising Bauchi, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe and Plateau states.

As the world commemorate 2024 International Women’s Day, it has become imperative for government at all levels to invest and support women groups like Mama2Mama Support Initiative whom have clearly demonstrated their zeal, passion and commitment to changing the negative health indices that indicates high burden of maternal and child mortality and morbidity in our communities.

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