At least 1,650 women were on Thursday empowered with 1,650 radio sets in Kiyawa Local Government Area of Jigawa State to monitor programmes on children’s health, specifically on pneumonia.
The radio sets were given to the women in commemoration of the World Pneumonia Day
The World Pneumonia Day is marked every year on November 12 to raise awareness about pneumonia, the world’s leading infectious killer of children under the age of five years.
Abdullahi Magama, the Programme Manager, ‘Inspiring Project’ undertaken by ‘Save the Children’, which gave the women the radio sets, said the women were given the items to enable them monitor information on pneumonia and other childhood diseases.
The official said the gesture was meant to improve the women’s knowledge on how to tackle childhood killer diseases in their respective communities.
He added that the radio will assist in educating the households on preventive measures against pneumonia and other childhood diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea and immunisation
The radio will also enable the women to participate in the monthly interactive radio programme which is meant to engage the locals with health workers as they will call to ask questions concerning health issues using a toll free number, the official said.
At the event, speaking on behalf of the traditional leaders from the area, the District Head of Kiyawa, Adamu Aliyu, said inadequate funding of the health sector has made it very difficult for many families to access affordable basic healthcare, especially at the rural areas.
The monarch called on federal, state and local governments to increase funding for the health sector and timely releases of budget to mitigate the menace of the high rate of child and maternal death in the nation.
He noted that lack of access to basic healthcare services is the major cause of the high rate of maternal and child death in Nigeria, saying that families prefer to go to traditional medicine vendors for treatment despite its unreliability and hazard for no other than lack of access affordable clinical services.
Some beneficiaries in the council area expressed appreciation to Save the Children for conducting other series of engagements and enlightenment programmes which enabled them to understand and identify some symptoms of pneumonia infection.
One of the women, Jamila Isma’il, said ”I am great full to the donors and the radio will improve my health knowledge on pneumonia. May almighty Allah bless them.”
Another beneficiary, Husseina Ismail, said ” I don’t know what to say than thank you.”
Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of deaths in children under five years despite being preventable and treatable.
Those living in poor communities are at the highest risk of pneumonia.