The Secretary of Social Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC), Mr Dauda Mohammed Chiroma has disclosed that the campaign programme embarked upon by ‘The Challenge Initiative” (TCI) has greatly helped in reducing the rate of maternal mortality in Bauchi state.
Dauda Chiroma who made this assertion during a one-day SBCC training for journalists in Bauchi on Wednesday noted that the aim was to look for ways of sustaining the Child Birth Spacing Campaign they embarked upon three years ago.
“The meeting is meant to enable brainstorming among SBCC members on how to continue to do the work the TCI was supporting it to do”, he said.
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According to him, ” the training was to also look at ways to which we can generate for ourselves and also try to do the demand creation in SBCC without TCI. So, that was the need for this training”.
He said: “We have also suggested how we can be meeting, how we can generate and then how we can move forward and bring in different ideas to see that Childbirth spacing and other issues that are related to maternal health is inculcated to what we were doing with TCI”.
“We brought in media people to come in so that we can put heads together to see how to sustain the programme because SBCC is communication, so we will explore all the avenues to see that we have sustained the programme”, Chiroma added.
While commending the people of Bauchi state for accepting child spacing, Chiroma noted going by the current indices relating to childbirth spacing, Bauchi- the state has moved an inch in terms of acceptability.
“The indices are showing that in the Northeast, Bauchi state is really coping and is up there from the time TCI came on board three years ago”.
He said in all the local governments that TCI trained Social Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC) personnel that has been working there, the intake of commodities for childbirth spacing is up.
“The rate at which maternal mortality had bedevilled people in the past has reduced to some degrees, this is the achievement we have made while working with TCI”, he said”.
A participant and member of the SBCC, Elizabeth Kah expressed satisfaction that the programme has since its take-off, recorded tremendous success.
“We felt that now that TCI is winding up we need to sustain the generation and create demand in our various communities. That is why we are training journalists to come up with fresh ideas, new ways of doing things to continue to send this message to the communities”, she said.
Kah said before the coming of TCI, childbirth spacing was seen as a strange thing but has now been widely accepted by the people in Bauchi state.
“When we started, even among us the journalists, there were those who do not have faith in the childbirth spacing because then we were thinking that it is family planning,” she said.
Kah however noted that “but with consistent media coverage people have come to terms with the importance of childbirth spacing to both the mother and the child.
She explained that journalists have played a very important role in sensitizing the public on the benefits of childbirth spacing which has, in turn, led to its acceptability by the people.
Kah while urging members of the SBCC who are representatives of various media outlets in the country to sustain the coverage said, “as media practitioners, we will continue to create awareness in order to ensure the safety of lives of mothers and their babies.