NGO treats 300,000 children in Benue ― Official

THE Christian Aid-UK, an NGO based in Nigeria, said they have catered for the medical needs of over 300,000 children under five years in Benue in the past three years.

The Senior Programme Coordinator, Community Health, Ms Anne Adah-Ogoh, disclosed this on Wednesday in Makurdi at the official close-out of their three years programme in Benue.

Adah-Ogoh said that Christian Aid Nigeria through its Improved Child Health Project (PICH Project) carried out the intervention in Kwande, Konshisha, Obi and Okpokwu Local Government Areas of Benue.

She said 123,640 children benefited from the programme in Kwande local government; 117, 635 in Konshisha; 53,628 in Obi, and Okpokwu 46,648, respectively.

She said most of the aliments catered for, were reoccurring ones like malaria, fever, diarrhoea and pneumonia.

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She said the organisation made use of Community Oriented Resource Persons (CORPs) as volunteers, 124 Lower Level Health Facility Workers, 340 Faith and community leaders, and two local partners; Ohonyeta CareGivers and Jireh Doo Foundation, during the intervention.

Adah-Ogoh appealed to relevant authorities in Nigeria to conduct continuous capacity building for community development committees to strengthen advocacy at local government levels.

He further appealed for the provision of potable water and good roads in the rural areas for improved health and human capacity building.

In his goodwill message, the Country Director of the NGO, Mr Charles Usie, commended the Benue Government for providing a conducive environment for the effective implementation of their projects over the years.

Usie appealed to the government to ensure that available data is made available at all local government areas for effective usage.

He said the project has ensured availability of drugs and improved healthcare delivery in the remote areas where hitherto had access to no medical facilities.

The Executive Secretary, Benue Health Insurance Agency, Mr Tony Egwa, said the state was in receipt of N1.7 billion federal government counterpart funding for the upgrade of 273 primary healthcare centres in the state.

Egwa said the counterpart funding was possible following the earlier N100 million counterpart fund paid by the state government.

He explained that each of the 273 council wards would benefit from the upgrade of a single primary healthcare centre.

He said that funds would also be used for the eradication of malaria in the state and pledged that the state would improve on the intervention of Christian Aid (UK) Nigeria.

The state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Sunday Eligwu, commended the organisation for their intervention in childhood illnesses.

Eligwu, who was represented by the State Director of Public Health, Dr Terna Kor, said the state government was planning to establish community-based health insurance programmes across the state for improved health.

On his part, Gov. Samuel Ortom, appealed to the NGO to workout modalities so as to carry out similar interventions in the remaining 19 local governments in the state.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Mr Joseph Odaudu, he said the government was ready to facilitate all their projects in the state in every possible way.

“We are ready to partner with you. We will facilitate all your projects in the state because every life saved is worthwhile,’’ Ortom said.

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