By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
The Youth arm of the Bauchi State Accountability Mechanism for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (BaSAM) known as Super Activists have devised a method of reminding expectant mothers their due dates for antenatal care and other periodic care on MNCH services in Bauchi State.
This innovation was disclosed by the Katagum Chairman of the activists, Ahmed Sani Ahmed while making a presentation at the just concluded quarterly review meeting of BaSAM held in Bauchi, between 8th and 9th October 2021.
The activist informed the meeting that the SMS initiative of reminding women of their appointments in health facilities has yielded positive results judging from the testimonies of the target group.
“The SMS method has really helped in reminding target groups on their ANC, Post Natal and Immunization dates . The feedback from the women is encouraging , with some of them telling us that our SMSs had prompted them into coming to health facilities to access services and also commending us for the innovation”, said Ahmed.
He also revealed that in the period under review, Female Activists had carried out periodic compound meetings with women on the importance of accessing MNCH services stressing that, “topics discussed during such meetings were centered around importance of ANC, Malaria prevention during pregnancy and exclusive breast feeding”.
Ahmed also said that the Activists also celebrated breast feeding week through organising capacity building exercises to it’s members on benefits of exclusive breastfeeding to the health of a new born child. The objective of the capacity training was to equip super activists to know the basic facts associated with breast milk. This, according to the Chairman of the Activists was to further empower members to re-educate community members on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.
Ahmed, who stated that the Katagum Local Government Activists has since developed their last quarter action plan, however pointed out challenges militating against better outcomes of their activities.
“Funding our activities is a great challenge. As it is, we go cap-in-hand seeking support every time we intend to carry out our activities from well-to-do members of our communities, which may not be forthcoming, always.
“Inadequate technical capacity resulting from lack of training is another challenge that is also militating our enthusiasm to sustain the current tempo in the implementation of our activities”, said Ahmed.
Other presentations during the meeting highlighted the health budget performance of Bauchi State from January to June 2021, which was pegged at 28.29 percent, prompting Coalition’s resolve to renew it’s advocacy drive in that direction.
Also, issues regarding the corporate registration of the Coalition was discussed extensively and names of Board of Trustees (BOT) thereafter emerged as the first step in the registration BaSAM as a corporate entity.
Our correspondent reports that presentations were made by all subcommittees namely: Evidence, Advocacy and Knowledge Management Sub-Committees highlighting key activities carried during the period under review.