OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN) has so far commenced work on the prevention, treatment and mitigation of the impact of Malaria, as well as the promotion of immunization and better nutrition in thirteen states in Nigeria.
The states, which include Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Kwara, Niger, Taraba, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa, Ogun, Osun and Delta States are also benefiting from peace building initiative of ACOMIN among the warring communities.
Addressing a conference in Abuja, noted that Conflicts between communities and/or individuals were leading to lower patronage of GF-supported health facilities in some states before ACOMIN’s interventions.
“By facilitating the resolution of some of these conflicts, this project has increased patronage of the health centres, thereby reducing the risk of medicines and health commodities going bad in the stores of the facilities. Some of the places where this happened include: Ifelodun LGA, Kwara State – where two communities that have been in conflict for many years agreed to put aside their differences and work towards peace following the intervention of the team from ACOMIN.
“The team embarked upon advocacy visits to the traditional leaders of both communities when they saw that members of one community were shunning the GF supported Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) because it was located in the neighbouring community who they considered as enemies. Similar accomplishments took place in Jikuchi community, Bosso LGA Niger state, Oke-Ijemo community in Abeokuta South LGA, Ogun State and Sabon Gari community in Chikun LGA, Kaduna State.”
The group which is engaged by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) under the ongoing Global Fund (GF) Malaria Grant to implement the civil society component noted that Health facilities are the first point of call when serious health challenges arise and that there are standards regarding hygiene, safety and the like that must be upheld in any building being used for healthcare because matters pertaining to life and death get addressed there.
“Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) are the closest health facilities to rural communities. Without PHCs, residents of rural communities may be left stranded, or be subjected to much more difficulty when they need to access quality health services. This is why ACOMIN makes a lot of effort to ensure that the PHCs are in good enough shape to serve people. So far, several PHCs have gotten renovated as a result of our efforts. These include the PHC in Minjibir LGA of Kano State, Odowara PHC in Ife East LGA Osun state and Olooti Iragbiji health facility in Boripe LGA Osun State. Also, Adagbrassa PHC in Okpe LGA, Delta State was reopened due to our intervention after being shut down for about a year.
“People in hard-to-reach areas get denied of, or go through increased difficulty to access health services, leading to unnecessary morbidity and mortality in regions like that. To reduce the difficulties, suffering and deaths caused by Malaria in these places, ACOMIN has taken Malaria interventions to the following hard-to-reach communities: Kaboji community in Niger State; Chambaji community in Yola South LGA, Adamawa State and some other communities in Yobe and Gombe states.”
Some other successes of ACOMIN, a non-political, non-sectarian and non-profit organization working in collaboration with the government, partners and stakeholders both at National and State level include, “In Ubandawaki community of Daura LGA, Katsina State, it was discovered that two (2) PHCs that were listed as part of the GF supported facilities and had been receiving Malaria commodities for a long time, were in fact, non-existent, whereas the clinic that did exist was somehow not on the list. The non- existing clinics have been part of GF beneficiaries for long but there are no records to prove this. The existing health facility has deteriorated due to years of being deprived of support services. A recommendation has been put forward for a review of this list to be carried out.
A Management Information Systems platform, ACCOMIS has been created and launched to collate information from the field.”
For a better society