Widely Read Magazine in Nigeria

REACH project TWG meets in Bauchi to map out sustainability plans

15

REACH project TWG meets in Bauchi to map out sustainability plans

The Technical Working Group (TWG) of Save the Children’s (SCI) Reaching and Empowering Adolescents to make informed Choices for their Health in Nigeria (REACH) Project has held a two-day meeting in Bauchi State to re-strategise efforts toward the actualization of the REACH project while strategising sustainability plans for the project beyond 2021.

The REACH project being implemented in Dukku and Balanga Local Government Areas of Gombe State which commenced in April 2018 and expected to end in March 2021 is sponsored by SCI with funding from the Canadian Government and implemented by Kishimi Shelter and Care Foundation.

In his welcome remarks, Mr. Musa Umar Sani, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Gombe state who is the chairman of the TWG for REACH project in Gombe State said the meeting had provided the right opportunity to discuss challenges, achievements as well as the prospects of the project in meeting the expected outcomes.

Sani said an opportunity to discuss issues of children is “a very unique one and we must work to make sure that the lives of adolescents in the state are positively impacted as a result of the meeting.’’

According to him, since the project is expected to come to an end in 2021 couple with the impact of COVID-19 pandemic which had eaten into the time of all sectors of human endeavours, members of the group must re-double efforts toward meeting the target of the project before its expiration date.

Also speaking, Dr Cletus Ifeka, Adolescent and Sexual Reproductive Health Co-ordinator, SCI while making a presentation on the REACH project overview stated that the emphasis of the meeting was for the sustainability plan of the project to be prioritized to maximize the gains of the project beyond 2021.

Dr Ifeka, speaking after the meeting said the meeting was well attended, participated and deliberated while expressing optimism that the meeting would impact positively on the quality of health workers’ service and the adolescents who are the primary beneficiaries, would also benefit from the meeting in terms of how their ability to improve their decision making capacity is being improved.

He stated that the gains of the REACH project were too important not to be consolidated on by the state government, so “we will begin to look at how the state government should deliberately begin to look at issues that relate to adolescent in their sexual and reproductive health and how it impacts on other aspects of health.’’

Mr. Miftahu Yahaya, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, SCI while making his presentation said since the project commenced in 2018, over 928 safe spaces have been established, 93 health workers trained while a total of 28, 634 adolescents have benefitted from the project so far.

REACH project TWG meets in Bauchi to map out sustainability plans

Yahaya added that the implementation of the project since the outbreak of the pandemic had complied with COVID-19 protocols as given by health authorities, adding “ we fumigated 20 Primary Health Centres, hand washing points established, 80 health workers from Balanga and Dukku LGAs were trained remotely on COVID-19 while sensitization were conducted to all safe space facilitators and surgical and non-surgical face mask were provided to workers, safe space facilitators and adolescents, amongst others.’’

Also Umar Farouk Abdullahi, the Speaker, Gombe state Children Parliament expressed his appreciation to SCI for being part of the meeting while promising to cascade the training down to the grassroots in his capacity as the speaker.

Abdullahi appealed to the state government to adopt the project and scale it up to the other LGAs, adding that such will help in improving the capacity of adolescents to make informed choices on their health, education and other aspects of life.

Another participant of the meeting, Mrs. Grace Samuel, the Executive Director of Kimishi Shelter and Care Foundation, said the meeting would impact on the implementation success of the project.
Samuel maintained that the massive acceptance of the project now which according to her, was achieved as a result of mass sensitization and awareness is good for the adolescents in the state.

The highlights of the meeting include the drafting of a communiqué as well as action plans, several presentations and reports briefing based on field works and group interactive sessions to strategize ways of sustaining the project.

REACH project TWG meets in Bauchi to map out sustainability plans

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: