IWD: UNICEF Support Mothers Promote Newborn Health


United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has stressed the need for nursing mother’s to promote the health of their newborn through exclusive breastfeeding, routine immunization and provision of good nutrition.

The agency also spoke of the need for women to serve as educators and peer mentors, thereby disseminating Reproductive, Maternal Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) information and promoting healthy behaviors among families.

UNICEF Gender Consultant, Kabati Baba Tokara made the plea on Thursday during two-day Media Dialogue as part of activities to commemorate the 2024 International Women’s Day (IWD) being held at Evolution Hotel, Gombe.

Tokara therefore stressed the need for knowledging the role of women as advocates, educators, and change agents, as well as the need for continued support and investment in empowering women to lead and participate in RMNCH efforts for healthier communities.

The Health Officer with the UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Oluseyi Olusunde has at the dialogue outlined the objectives for establishment of women groups termed Mother-To-Mother Support Groups as to promote women voice in PHC system. 

“It is also to empower group members to function as change agents -able to share key messages on MNCHN, and strengthen community support for Healthy Practices on RMNCAH+N like hand washing, initiation to breast, positioning and attachment; Family Planning, ANC, institution delivery”

Mr. Oluseyi Olusunde also gave other objectives as to strengthen community surveillance, active case search of zero dose children and referrals, andi increaseCoverage of MNCHN services through tracking of pregnant women for ANC, Institutional Deliveries & Children for Immunization.

He explained that the Mama2Mama Group establishment in every ward & integrated into the community social cultural structure is geared to improve knowledge, attitudes and practices on RMNCAH+N among women through conduct of One-on- One, as well as group counselling and support to mothers on MNCHN issues Unicef for every child.

Dr. Tushar Rane, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, has told the dialogue that nearly half of adolescent girls in UNICEF programme countries suffer from anemia and lack access to essential health and nutrition services in the event of pregnancy.

He stated, “When women are endowed with the right knowledge, they can effectively lead or participate in community health initiatives such as vaccination campaigns for the good of the community. Involvement of women fosters community cohesion and increases the effectiveness of health interventions”.

According to the Chief of Field Office, investing in the health, rights, and wellbeing of adolescent girls generates a transformative ripple effect that uplifts entire nations, stressing that investment in women through the mama2mama initiative, including strengthening women’s knowledge of community health systems has positively contributed to health outcomes.

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