Citizens Health Education and Development Initiative (CHEDI), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called for more government initiatives and programmes to address poverty at the grassroots.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Mrs Selina-Akunna Enyioha, made the call in an interview with the newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.
The director equally called on international donors to assist NGOs who were working toward addressing poverty at the grassroots.
She lamented that “things are not easy for people at the grassroots, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic and its many consequences on the people.
Enyioha, who retired from the State House Medical Centre as Deputy Director, Head of Nursing, added that women and children were the worst hit and bear the brunt of poverty at the grassroots.
She, therefore, urged government and public-spirited individuals and NGOs to initiate more empowerment programmes for women and children and to reduce the sufferings of families.
She said “many families cannot afford three meals a day; some don’t even see a meal a day; if you go to rural communities, you will feel bad; things are not easy for people at the grassroots.
“Sometimes in 2018, we bought hospital equipment and distributed to rural communities, and when we unwrapped some of the items, people struggle for the wraps.
“When I asked why they were struggling for the wraps, they said they wanted to use it on the floor as mat to lie on it; things are really that bad in some rural communities.
“Some women cannot afford to feed their children; some cannot even pay their hospital bills; it is pathetic.”
According to her, it is unfortunate that some husbands are not helping matters.
She said that the Citizens Health Education and Development Initiative was out to target more women in terms of empowerment and called on affluent organisations, international donors and government to come to their aid.
She added that the NGO distributed food items to 120 households during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown in some communities in Imo, with
the assistance of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Los Angeles in United States of America.
The NGO was also collaborating with World Bank Staff Community Connection Campaigns which had been of help for the empowerment of some women this year (FY 2021), she said.
She noted that the organisation also got some help from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to enable it to carry out its programmes.