Health

NOA, UNICEF engage religious leaders on promotion of maternal, child health practices

Supreme Desk
14 Nov 2022 1:47 PM GMT
NOA, UNICEF engage religious leaders on promotion of maternal, child health practices
x
“Faith for Life Initiative” was an adoption of a Kenyan strategy that uses spiritual teachings to address issues and create awareness about maternal and child health survival and development, especially in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Niger says it has started training religious leaders on "Faith for Life" to promote maternal and child health practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supreme reports that the two-day program was organized in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Malam Yahaya Gbongbo, the state Director of NOA, told the religious leaders drawn from 25 local government areas of the state, that the training was to abreast them on "Faith for Life".

He said that the initiative was adopted by Nigeria to communicate health issues using religious platforms.

Supreme also reports that the "Faith for Life Initiative" was an adoption of a Kenyan strategy that uses spiritual teachings to address issues and create awareness about maternal and child health survival and development, especially in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gbongbo explained that the role of the religious leaders was to help promote health issues such as infant and maternal health, child protection and environmental sanitation using religious scriptures.

"Both Quran and the Bible are very rich in all these aspects and considering our mandate as an agency in communicating government programmes with the support of UNICEF.

"We believe religious leaders play vital roles as their opinions are respected by their followers," he said.

Also, Mrs Adeola Olunlayo, Social and Behaviour Change Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, noted that `Faith for Life" was launched at national level to work with the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Janaatu Nasril Islam (JAI) as religious umbrellas.

She said the religious organisations were to help promote acceptance and uptake of maternal new born and child health services across the country.

According to her, religious leaders are influential, powerful and have members and congregations that respect their instructions, hence the need to use them to promote women and children's health.

"We have formed an alliance to use their platforms across different faiths to ensure that accurate and timely information on positive health-seeking behaviour are promoted while preaching to their members.

"The effort is to ensure that no woman loses her life due to any maternal health issue and no child is denied life-saving services that can enable them grow, survive and develop," she said.

In their separate remarks, Pastor Raphael Okpwoye, Secretary of CAN in Niger and Alhaji Abubakar Bosso, Head of JAI, Niger chapter, described the training as timely as it would help improve health of families.

They promised to ensure that pastors and imams include health messages in their sermons and preaching's.

Malam Bala Musa, Deputy Director, NOA and UNICEF Focal Person in Niger, said that one of the objectives of the training was to equip religious leaders with knowledge and skills to promote positive maternal and child health practices.(

Next Story