To boost the skills of health workers for effective delivery of Maternal Newborn Child Health (MNCH) services in the country, Save the Children International says it has trained 5,250 health workers under its just-concluded Health Workers Capacity Building (HCB) project.
Mrs. Nwamaka Ifionu, the organisation’s Area Operations Manager, Lagos, Cross River and Akwa- Ibom, said this at the organisation’s end of project and dissemination meeting held in Lagos, recently.
Ifionu explained that the project was set out for a four-year period covering between 2015 and 2019.
She said that the goal of the training is to ensure health workers in three states in Nigeria, including Lagos, are correctly applying improved skills and knowledge in the provision of MNCH services.
According to Ifionu, her organisation is determined to see that no child, especially those under five years of age dies from preventable causes.
She further said that the Save the Children International’s child survival priority is based on a simple premise.
The principle, she said is, unless a child survives beyond infancy, and is protected from diseases and the effects of disaster, they cannot learn or participate meaningfully in society.
Ifionu added, HCB’s four year project which mainly focuses on empowering the health workforce is one of the organisation’s foremost commitments towards the realisation of the priority in the country.
She said; “The project set out during a four year period (2015-2019) – to ensure that health workers in three states in Nigeria, including Lagos, are correctly applying improved skills and knowledge in the provision of MNCH services.
She said that the next is; “To galvanise support towards the creation of an enabling policy environment in the delivery of these essential services.
“As we all know, there can be no health without a health workforce. This is the underlying principle upon which HCB project was embarked upon.”
The Area Operations boss said; “The impact of this achievement is not one that we are going to see with the project coming to an end.
“This one is truly just starting to manifest in terms of what it means to the state.
“We have left behind 20 master trainers in Lagos alone, who are able to continue capacity building on integrated management of childhood illnesses as well as active management of third stage labour.
“We are assured that even as this project exits the state, the mothers and children will continue to benefit from essential newborn care and services.
“The health workforce that has been developed and continues to be developed will continue to benefit from this capacity strengthening because we know that these workers are responsible for the quality of health services,’’ she said.
The Area Operations Manager said that as a child-rights organisation, it had continued to lead the global front in the fight for the survival of children.
She said that the organisation, for the past 100 years, had worked in different settings to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children.
“We have particularly stood firm in our resolve to see that no child, especially those under five years of age dies, from preventable causes.
“Our child-survival priority is based on the simple premise that, unless a child survives beyond infancy and is protected from diseases and the effects of disaster, they cannot learn or participate meaningfully in society.
“HCB is one of our foremost commitments toward the realisation of this priority in Nigeria,” Ifionu said.
Similarly, Dr Opeyemi Odedere, the Advisor of the HCB project, said that the organisation would support the state government to create policies that would enable sustainability of building capacity.
Odedere, who is also the Advisor on Maternal and Child Health, Save the Children, said: “Even when the organisation leaves, the policies will remain to ensuring that the health workers are providing quality services.
“We donated some medical equipment to the government which will help these workers provide these services.
“This equipment include anti-shock garment that will help the workers to prevent post-partum hemorrhage, which is one of the number one killers of women after child birth.
“Others are simulators that will help the workers to be able to train each other even in the health facilities,” Odedere said.