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Child survival: NOA, UNICEF enlighten 5,000 Kaduna community members

                            
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) with support from UNICEF has begun to educate no fewer than 5,000 community members in Kaduna State on child killer diseases and ways to prevent them.

Malam Hamza Audu, a deputy director in the agency, disclosed this on Thursday during one of the dialogue sessions in Dutsen Mai, Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

The agencies had been reaching out to residents in no less than 70 communities in Soba, Lere, Kudan, Giwa and Igabi Local Government Areas of the state through community dialogue.

Audu said that the measure was to tackle infant and maternal mortalities in the state by teaching parents the essential family practices that could guarantee the survival of their children.

He said that women and children in the state were dying from preventable diseases such as: pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles, malaria and malnutrition.

He said that deaths from such diseases could be prevented with information and knowledge on how to tackle them, particularly, through essential family practices.

Audu listed some of the essential family practices as: good nutrition practices that included exclusive breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding; good sanitation and hygiene, and compliance with polio vaccine and routine immunisation.

Others are regular health facility visit to hospitals for ante-natal and post-natal treatments and encouraging pregnant women to give births in hospitals as against giving births at private homes.

Also, that parents should also ensure that their children sleep under treated mosquito nets, and the public avoiding open defecation.

Malam Lawal Haruna, the UNICEF focal person in NOA office in Kaduna and the coordinator of the dialogue said that 12million children die globally every year before their fifth birthday.

He said that malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea were responsible for more than 50 per cent of the deaths among children who were less than five years in Nigeria.

Haruna said that the main goal of the dialogue was to enlist the support of community members to promote the adoption of essential family practices and routine immunisation.

“We are equally advising community members to discourage violence and exploitation against women and children in their communities.

“What we hope to achieve at the end of the dialogue is a commitment from the community members for positive behavioural change to ensure children survival and development,” Haruna said.

One of the community members, Malam Isiaku Mohammed, acknowledged that women in the community rarely attended ante-natal care.

Isiaku added that the rate at which they were usually vaccinated against polio and go for routine immunization was equally low.

He said that the dialogue had equipped them with relevant information that would make them have attitudinal change toward key households’ practices.

Haruna said that such practices would ensure healthy development for their children.

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