UNICEF TRAINS COMMUNITY LEADERS ON ESSENTIAL FAMILY PRACTICES
By Grace Onwukwe/Florence Oduah/David/Stella Okpala :
Ekwulobia (Aguata LGA), July 11, 2019 (MOI) President Generals (PGs), women and youth leaders in Anambra South Senatorial zone have been trained on essential family practices for sustainable healthy life style.
The training was aimed at encouraging pregnant mothers to access healthcare facilities for antenatal and post natal cares as well as mobilising the community leaders and the people to adopt healthy life style.
The programme, which was held at Aguata Local Government Secretariat engaged community leaders from the seven LGAs in the zone, including Aguata, Nnewi North and South, Ekwusigo, Ihiala, Orumba North and South.
UNICEF Desk Officer, Anambra State Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment, Mrs Chineze George-Ileka listed the essential family practices including exclusive breast feeding for 6months and immunisation.
Others are recognising when a sick child needs care and seeking treatment appropriately, attending antenatal care by pregnant mothers at the Public Health Centres (PHCs) across the state, personal and environmental hygiene
``The first suitable food for an infant is breast milk.
``Immunisation prevents cholera, measles, and yellow fever. Teach mothers to complete their children's immunisation full course at our PHC.
``A pregnant mother should attend antenatal at least three to four times before delivery, and should also be delivered at the PHC and not at a traditional birth attendant’s home,’’ Ileka said.
She noted that breast milk contains colostrum, the first antibiotic as well as 85 per cent water.
She enjoined the participants to encourage mothers in their communities to breast feed their babies as breast milk would protect babies from diseases.
Mrs George-Ileka said the programme was in line with achieving good health for 45, 956 women and children in the state by the end of 2019.
This she said could be achieved through hard work.
She said it was regrettable that a similar programme carried out in the past failed because the stakeholders failed to do their bit.
Dr Rose Amasiana, State Hygiene Officer, Anambra Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) urged the participants to implement total cleanliness and hygiene practices in their communities.
She noted that proper hand washing, personal and environmental hygiene, food and safe water chain, menstrual hygiene and proper disposal of excreta should always be maintained to ensure healthy living.
``Hand washing needs be done constantly, especially at critical times like after a visit to toilets and before eating.
``Wash your hands with soap or ash under running water as it is simple, safe and life saving.
``Change your tooth brush every three months to avoid dental cavity and brushing should take an upward and downward movements.
``Wash and wear clean under wears. Burn used pads and bury the dust,’’ Amasiani stressed.
She urged men to encourage their girl-child by purchasing sanitary pads for them in order to maintain good hygiene during their menstrual flow.
She explained the water chain as source-collection-transport-storage-usage, adding ``if the water chain is safe, the water is safe for drinking’’.
She enjoined communities to stop Open Defecation (OD) as the state would be expected to attain an Open Defecation Free (ODF) status by 2025.
Director, National Orientation Agency, Anambra State, Mr Charles Nworji, a lawyer, urged the participants to carry the campaign messages home and ensure complete implementation.
Community Orientation and Mobilisation Officer, Aguata (LGA), Mrs Ifeoma Umeh commended the facilitators of the programme saying ``the programme centers on good health and cleanliness’’.
Grouping of the participants according to their various LGAs where they discussed their action plan and way forward to implement the training formed part of the event.
Some of the action plans include carrying out sensitisation on six months exclusive breast feeding by mothers, imposing fine of N5,000 for anyone caught engaging in open defecation and conducting monthly environmental sanitation.
A participant, Mrs Obioma Onyejegbu, a woman
leader from Oraeri in Aguata (LGA), assured that the action plans drawn would be
carried out to the letters in her community. (MOI)