A non-governmental organisation, Health Education and Empowerment Initiative, HEDEN, has established partnership with Vitamin Angels in the distribution of Vitamin A, Albendazole and multivitamins in the hard-to-reach and community health centre in Ifo local government area of Ogun State.
The step, according to the Executive Director of HEDEN, Mrs. Folasade Ofurune, was taken to help at-risk population, especially pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under five years, gain access to life changing minerals and vitamins.
The distribution of Vitamin A, she explained, was part of the ante-natal, post-natal clinics and clincal visits of the women.
She said the distribution takes place at the various community health centres in Ifo local government area of the state.
To complement the distribution, she said, maternal and child health education is provided at every visit of the organisation to health centres using talks, video shows, role-play and demonstration methods, including question and answer sessions.
The Vitamin A, Albendazole and Vitamins she said, were donated by Vitamin Angels for the organisation’s micronutrients supplementation programme and had reached a large number of women and children in the community health centres, thus contributing to the Sustainable Development Goal 3 – Good Health and Well-being.
Speaking on the efforts of the organisation, Ofurune stated that the integrated programme was to employ a holistic approach to reach both mothers and their children in order to comprehensively address the issues of maternal and child mortality in the community.
According to her, the project focused on improving nutrition for the most vulnerable, especially women and children.
That, she said, included helping more pregnant women and their newborn to get access to essential healthcare services, medicines and commodities including vitamin and minerals.
Ofurune further stated that having worked in the communities for the past 14 years, the organisation had identified entertainment education as the best intervention suited for the target populace.
“The women in these communities are low literate and do not have the resources available or needed for healthy pregnancy and birth experience. Hence with adequate information and access to maternal nutrition many of these women will be fully equipped to meet the special nutritional needs of pregnancy.
“Thus, HEDEN integrated the distribution of the minerals, and Vitamins into the already existing Sweet Mother Project which employs entertainment education to send her message across to the women. This has been running for the past 14 years,” she said.
She added: “Vitamin Angels seeks to mobilise resources to advance availability, access and use of micronutrients, especially vitamin A, among at-risk populations in need.
“It distributes micronutrients, especially vitamin A, that are in need of micronutrient supplies for distribution to specific target groups: children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women.”
She explained that the partnership and distribution would continue within the next one year and beyond.
She enjoined the government to strengthen and integrate delivery platforms for micronutrients and other health interventions.