Demand Generation for Child Health Services Program In Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State is a project sponsored by JOHN SNOW INC. The project aim to increase access to quality treatment for childhood illnesses at both the community and facility levels, by improving the national policy environment and promoting state leadership and investments in child health, while strengthening health referrals and other social services in Okehi LGA. This was achieved by integrating sustainable community-centered activities that increased demand for child health services across primary health care centers and promoted normative change among populace of Okehi LGA across the communities, while deploying effective integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) strategies. Click to download report
Interpersonal Communication (IPC) sessions
The program was targeted towards an estimated 450 direct beneficiaries through Interpersonal Communication (IPC) session with women, 1800 beneficiaries via house to house session with families within Okehi LGA and over 10,000 indirect beneficiaries. A total of 37 volunteers selected, three (3) each per wards of Okehi LGA trained as community based volunteers drove the process at the community level of Okehi LGA in Kogi State. Community leaders were identified and trained to improve their knowledge of maternal and child health services for project sustainability. Preceding the training, advocacy visits were paid to the authorities of the LGA, community leadership and religious leaders. This was followed by a stakeholders’ forum during which the details of the project implementation plans were lucidly enunciated and a call for support for the project with the expected roles of each stakeholder carefully spelt out.
Community Based Volunteers Training
Thirty-six (36) Community Based Volunteers (CBVs) were identified and trained on the basic signs and symptoms of pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria, to reach out directly to caregivers of children age 0- 5years across the eleven (11) wards of Okehi LGA. The training kick started with a pre –test aimed at establishing their level of understanding before post –test was done at the conclusion of the training to triangulate for knowledge gain.
Special Event (Rally/Road Show)
A rally/road show was organized to sensitize community gatekeepers, caregivers and the general populace on the importance of seeking immediate health care services for their children age 0 -5years, while assuring them of the quality of service. The first rally/raod show was planned and carried out across Okehi LGA within the period of Eid Kabir celebration (August, 2018) with the aim of reaching maximum target for sensitization purposes on the importance of seeking immediate health care services for children age 0 -5years. The second special event was done in October, 2018. A total of 334 (139 males and 195 females) caregivers were reached through special event by community based volunteers and LUCAF staff across the project implementation communities of Okehi LGA
Two community dialogue sessions were held at Obangede NPI Office, Okehi LGA and at Ikuehi primary health center in Ihima Okehi LGA. These dialogues were aimed at Identifying challenges of caregiver towards seeking medical care for their children across the wards and address same.
Sensitization of Caregivers
Sensitization of Caregivers at a stopover in Obeiba junction during the LUCAF Rally/Road Show in Okehi LGA government secretariat had major stakeholders such as the HOD Health, Okehi LGA Health Educator, PHC Officers across the 11 wards of Okehi LGA, NAPPMED Zonal Coordinator and Traditional leaders (Onoba’s). Stakeholders present at the sessions made positive contributions on cultural and financial issues militating against caregivers seeking immediate treatment for their children (1) the use of traditional herbs, (2) the nonpayment of salaries by the local government (3) the exorbitant prize of drugs at medicine shops. The above listed challenges were addressed although the nonpayment of salaries by local government wasn’t effectively addressed. The NAPPMED executives agreed to regulate the prizes of drugs for treatment of childhood illnesses like Pneumonia, Diarrhea and malaria most especially “ACT”. The traditional leaders and Okehi health educator took up the responsibility of sensitizing caregivers of the need to seek immediate treatment for their children and avoid self medication popularly referred to as ‘selection’, this they plan to do at their regular interface with caregivers during community meeting, while the PHC representatives agreed to sensitize caregivers during ANC days.
Town Hall Meetings
A total of 25 town hall meeting sessions across the communities of Okehi LGA namely Eika, Okaito, Usungwe, Ohuepe, Omavi, Uboro, Oboroke –Eba, Ohueta, Obeiba I, Obeiba II, Ikuehi, Ohueta, Oboroke I, Oboroke II, Obangede and Uhuodo communities aimed at generating some level of discussion around importance of seeking health care services for children age 0 – 5years. Present at the meetings across the wards were the Onoba’s of the wards, Primary Health Care Officer of the wards, Religious Leaders of the wards, NAPPMED Zonal Coordinators, Market Women leaders, Youth Leaders, Sanitation Officer of the LGA and Caregivers of children age 0 -5years.
A total of 6,263 households were reached consisting of 14,266 caregivers (Male 7,132 and Female 7,134) sensitized on signs and symptoms of Pneumonia, Diarrhea and Malaria.
In summary, 27 townhall meetings were organized and held with a total of 1418 participants. 72 community resource persons were trained and a toal of 183 persons referred to Primary Health Center(PHC) and Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors(PPMVs) for various cases ranging from fever to diarrhea