5 December 2012

Nigeria: USAID Sets up 300 Development Committees to Address Maternal Mortality

The Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP), Bauchi State office has facilitated 300 ward development committees in the 20 local government areas of the state to address health related issues.

The Mobilisation Specialist, Alhaji Ahmed Ahmed, of the USAID funded project told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Bauchi that the committees would also address issues related to maternal mortality.

Ahmed said that the action was to train the members of the committees to enable them mobilise and create awareness on maternal health, family planning and other related issues.

He said the committees would help to further strengthen and sustain the health of the communities.

"The project has trained some of the technical experts of some of the Bauchi based NGOs to effectively mobilise the development committees," he said.

The Executive Director, Rahama Women and Youth Development, an NGO, Mrs Mariam Illiya, said that the NGO was engaged by the state high impact project.

She also revealed that the NGO had started work with 45 ward development committees in Alkaleri, Kirfi and Itas Gadau, all in Bauchi State.

"What we are doing is to make the communities take owner ship of health issues in their communities.

"So that they will create awareness among their people and take proper steps to curtail maternal mortality," Illiya said.

Illiya also said that the ward committees were formed by the community members themselves, which included the union of transport workers, to ease transportation problem whenever the need arose.

"The transport union is also part of the ward development committees, because of transporting serious cases that will be referred to secondary health facilities," she said.

Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Isa Yuguda on Development Partners, Alhaji Bashir Hassan, said, "the state government is determined to create an enabling environment for donor partners." NAN

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