Gombe State Government has urged religious and opinion leaders to sensitise communities towards mobilising acceptability of the National Self Care and Self Injection programme at the grassroots.
The National Self Care and Self Injection guidelines was developed by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
It is designed to improve Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health (RMCN) services in the country.
Dr Habu Dahiru, the state Commissioner for Health, made the call during a one-day stakeholders’ engagement and presentation of the Self Care guidelines, on Wednesday in Gombe.
Dahiru said the Self Care programme was timely in view of the population growth in Nigeria and Africa, adding that the trend portends negative effects on family health services.
He said the programme was aimed to achieve spacing to give the mother and her unborn baby better health as well as promote good reproductive health.
“I am appealing to religious and opinion leaders in our communities to embrace the programme to improve reproductive health.
“Mothers will be taught Self Care, Self Injection and they will have access to the child spacing commodities without difficulty,” he said.
The Commissioner reiterated the state government’s commitment to ensure effective implementation of the programme in the state.
In a remark, Dr Lawrence Anyanwu, Director, Family Planning, Federal Ministry of Health, said the government had realised the far reaching impact of Self Care toward improving healthcare of citizens especially women.
Anyanwu said that stakeholders would be better equipped to sensitise residents to facilitate successful implementation of the programme.
“We are here to engage with officials of state Ministry of Health concerning the national document that we recently developed to manage the promotion of health and wellbeing of Nigerians.
“This document is the National Safety Healthcare Guidelines, which the Federal Ministry of Health mobilised stakeholders from the state ministries of health and implementing partners to develop.
“It follows from global guidelines released by WHO for the management of Self Care as means of empowering individuals to initiate certain health interventions,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Adewole Adefalu, the Country Director, Jo Snow Incorporated, a development partner of the Self Care programme, said increased access to information would reduce the spate of maternal mortality and other health challenges.
Adefalu said the document was essential to support women and reduce maternal mortality, stressing the need for stakeholders to work collectively to fast track implementation of the Self Care programme.
“Self Care looks at the opportunity for people to take control of their health and there are basic things you can do that you will not have to get to the hospital.
“It will also provide awareness about issues relating to diagnosis of cervical cancer to help women provide information toward preventing cancer,” he said.