The Federal government has been urged to scale up efforts at ensuring more Nigerian women and girls have improved access to healthcare services especially those in rural and hard-to-reach communities and those living with disabilities.
The Executive Director, Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI), Babafunke Fagbemi made the call in Abuja at the Voices for Women’s Health stakeholder meeting, organized by Pathfinder International (Nigeria), to amplify advocacy efforts on the critical state of women and girls’ health in Nigeria.
Fagbemi noted that working with and for women and girls has been the centre point of CCSI’s mandate and a core value of the organisation.
She said CCSI had worked with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to support efforts under the European Union’s Spotlight Initiative in developing a National Communication Strategy to Eliminate Gender-Based Violence and other Harmful practices stressing that the commitment given to the cause was not lip service.
She said: “Working with women and supporting their rights is in our DNA, it’s in our scheme, it’s in our constitution and we are not paying lip service to this. We will co-create innovative and dynamic solutions that will live beyond the legacies of the current projects, the current campaigns that we have been running to build a lasting dynasty for the women and girls of Nigeria.”
She added that efforts would also include contributing to solid decisions at the policy-making level.
In her remark, Country Director, Pathfinder International (Nigeria), Dr Amina Aminu Dorayi noted that as commemorations for Womẹn’s month reached its peak, and to sustain the momentum of advocacy efforts, the meeting was an important platform to review the state of womẹn’s health in Nigeria.
According to her, the stakeholders’ meeting is also to appraise the progress, identify evidence-based gaps, and rally accelerated multi-sectoral support and solutions for evolving a workable framework that will inspire, sensitize, enable and strengthen policy action.
The meeting builds on the #ICommit Partnership for Goals Policy and Behavioural Change Campaign that was flagged off in May 2022 by the Honourable Minister for Women Affairs, Dame Pauline K. Tallen.
According to the data, over 40 million women of childbearing age continue to suffer disproportionally high health issues surrounding birth, and gaps in accessing quality healthcare. Consequently, scaling campaign efforts and leveraging partnerships was the focus of the high-level session where partners recommit to working together to promote Voice, advancing the health and rights of women in Nigeria.
Representatives from Nigeria’s ministries of Health, Women Affairs, development funder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Deaf Womẹn Aloud Initiative (DWAI), the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), Women in Global Health (WGH) Nigeria, the International Society for Media in Public Health (ISMPH), and MacArthur Foundation also gave goodwill messages.
The Voices for Women’s Health Stakeholder meeting, co-convened by She Forum Africa, seeks to accelerate concerted and targeted action toward advancing the health and rights of women in Nigeria.
The Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI) is a leading Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) organization with expertise in utilizing evidence from research to implement effective strategies that address barriers preventing designated audiences from adopting recommended behaviors.
Birthed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHCCP), Baltimore, USA, and registered in 2001 as a Non-Governmental Organization with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria, CCSI continues to work towards being the center of excellence in strategic communications in Africa.
Driven by values of integrity, passion, care, innovation, and excellence, CCSI focuses on the central role of strategic communication to impact behaviors, build brands, and provide technical leadership in health and social development.