In other to reduce the incidence of infant and maternal morbidity and mortality, a non-governmental organization, Health Education and Empowerment Initiative (HEDEN) has expanded her intervention program in Ifo local government area of Ogun state.
The entertainment-education program, tagged Sweet Mother Program- SMP, which is targeted towards pregnant women and nursing mothers in hard-to-reach communities held at the Robiyan community health centre in Ifo local government area of the state.
The program included talks, video presentation, discussion, question and answer session and demonstrations and was facilitated in vernacular language and pidgin to draw home the salient points to the women. The sessions were participatory and dwelt on general child care and health, diarrheal disease, ORT and a host of others.
The women however asked series of questions that affects them and their children such as “ can I be taking ORS everyday to avoid cholera? What age group can take ORS? How can I wash my hands properly when there is no tap to use and nobody to assist in pouring water on my hands? and series of others.
According to the Executive Director of the organization, Mrs. Folasade Ofurune, the program which started in 2003 aims at empowering women, parents and families with knowledge, skills, tools and resources to ensure safe motherhood, healthy children and a good start in life for newborns.
According to her, “Our focus is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to the global goals for sustainable development and the course of HEDEN”.
She noted that HEDEN has made significant strides in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality, stating that the program is currently running in community health centres in the state and has reached well over 7,000 people in the past 13 years.
The Executive Director implored government at the local level to work in partnership to support NGOs at the grassroots in the implementation of public health interventions in underserved communities in other to save lives.
Mrs. Ofurune further lamented why women do not seek care, and encouraged the women to always visit the health centre for regular medical attention instead of self medication. She used the opportunity to inform the women of the free cervical cancer screening holding in HEDEN office.
The participants however, expressed appreciation for the program and looked forward to the next visit of HEDEN to the health centre. The chief matron of the health centre, Mrs. Obayomi also expressed her satisfaction and joy over the event.
Also facilitating the process, the Program Officer of HEDEN, Miss. Aderonke Adekitan, hinted that the program will be expanded to reach many more communities and health centres during the year.
HEDEN envisions a world in which communication saves lives, improves health and enhances weel being.