Family Health and Nutrition
A total of 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries, where 85% of the population lives. Maternal health continues to record high levels of mortality and morbidity in Kano State. Despite being the first to initiate free maternal and child health policy (2001) MMR still remains very high (1,600 deaths/100,000 births (NHDS 2008)). Free services are only available in secondary facilities as hospitals in the LGAs, whereas majority of the population in the State patronize are not managed by Kano State Government. Ajingi LGA, where IWEI is working, only has primary health facilities and TBAs are still the first point of contact for pregnant women.
Many of the problems women experience during pregnancy stem from ignorance and patriarchal nature of society.Low levels of literacy and ignorance also exacerbate the poor levels of maternal mortality and morbidity. IWEI is committed to contributing towards reducing this high rate through raising awareness and providing reproductive health information to men, women and adolescent youth. The importance of nutrition for well-being and good quality of life cannot be overemphasized. In rural areas, malnutrition amongst children is very common and can be attributed to poverty, low levels of education, ignorance, early marriage of girls and lack of information. There is a poor understanding of the importance of nutrition, most especially for pregnant or lactating women as well as growing children. Meals generally tend not to be balanced and are mainly carbohydrates. Even though some vegetables tend to grow in the wild, they are eaten mostly by their animals. Some women professed not to know the nutritional value of vegetables such as spinach, beans and moringa.
GOAL 1: Improved access to family health information and education, as well as family health services in IWEI target communities. Activities: Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) training The aim and objective of the program is to train TBAs on safe motherhood practices, management of normal delivery, timely detection and referral of women with obstetric complications to hospitals, importance of breast feeding methods and family planning/spacing and hygiene. IWEI focuses to continue to build the capacity of the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). TBAs are women (usually elderly with experiences in child birth) who live in the community and are trained to help pregnant women through birthing process. The TBAs are trained on the management of normal delivery, timely detection and referral of women with obstetric complications. Also breastfeeding methods, family spacing, nutrition and hygiene, reproductive health challenges and safe methods amongst the TBAs. At the end of each training session, the TBAs are always given birthing kits to enable them carry out clean deliveries, as well as data collection tools for proper documentation. SMID (Safe Motherhood Sensitization) The SMID initiative was brought about so that men, women and adolescent youth of an entire community can be enlightened on the maternal danger signs during and after pregnancy. Awareness is raised on maternal danger signs, nutrition and hygiene during pregnancy.
Forums are held separately for men and women where knowledge of the SMID is shared. Women in the communities who have been trained by IWEI also go out into other communities to sensitize other women. Due to low or lack of literacy, trainings are carried out by way of talks, songs and use of pictorial leaflets. NUTRITION The aim of the Programme is to help the women enhance the nutritional quality of their meals using locally available foods. The women are taught the nutritional values of the foods and the proper ways of preparing their meals. During the program, health talks on safe motherhood practices, hygiene, awareness and prevention of STIs/HIV/AIDS and malaria are included.
COMMUNITY SENSITIZATION ON MALARIA Malaria remains the highest form of morbidity and mortality in sub Saharan Africa accounting for over. Malaria aggravates anemia and malnutrition in children and pregnant women. Malaria is endemic throughout Nigeria. An estimated 300,000 children die of malaria each year. It is also believed to contribute up to 11% maternal mortality, 25% infant mortality, and 30% under-five mortality. It is estimated that about 132 billion Naira lost to malaria annually in the form of treatment costs, prevention and loss of work time in Nigeria. IWEI goes into communities to sensitize its members on the treatment and prevention of malaria.
HYGIENE FOR KIDS The saying goes kids are the leaders of tomorrow. IWEI believes in taking care of our future leaders. The hygiene for kids is a holiday event carried out for the children of the LGAs within the reach of IWEI. Community volunteers that consists of males and females serve as group supervisors. The participants learn about personal hygiene with emphasis on importance of hand washing. The sessions are carried out in a creative and fun way.