In an annual end of year coalition meeting (December 2014), WOFAN with targeted partners and health workers from the Ward units of over 200 communities across 3 states of Kano, Bauchi, Katsina and Sokoto,
a quick review on Basic guide for Routine Immunization service providers and role of the Traditional Birth attendants was organized by WOFAN and the child survival unit of primary health care center.
In order to scale up advocacy and press for action on health needs of the populace across 7 Northern Nigerian states faced with high maternal mortality rates, WOFAN has introduced the use of a popular 30 minutes sponsored radio spotlight programme to create awareness to the general public on immunization exercises, harmful traditional practices against women that affect their reproductive health and rights . The coalition and network are advocating for an improved child care handling and safe
motherhood issues and increased services to the populace. This is in collaboration with religious leaders and health personnel.
Flashing back at the achievement of the network of over 150 groups between 2012- 2014 on advocating for health needs and improved livelihood, Women confirmed that through the Use of radio as an advocacy tool and training them on basic health tips and use of ICTs for agricultural and entrepreneurial scale up , the activities have
– Given them a voice to speak out on issues that affect them and the well being of their families which ultimately has given them confidence to dialogue with various policy stakeholders and empowered them in the area of speech making.
– They have also been able to promote the idea of peaceful coexistence among themselves and between them and other rural communities.
– They have kept alive some of their cultural practices, and are working towards eliminating discriminatory practices that may affect their health and have shared these with other communities during various levels of exchange visits among themselves
– They have gained psychological satisfaction by hearing their own voices or those of theirs on air
– It has increased the rate of interaction within and between rural community members discussing business, agriculture, marketing tracking and health needs of the communities with one voice and one interest. This is because they talk more now with and among themselves and this has enabled them to know themselves more than they hitherto.
According to Hauwa Mohammed the umbrella leader for the Network and coalition said “being a farmer led advocates doesn’t mean that health issues and education should not be their focus”!
In another development Hadiza from Panshekara unit of the network indicated the more focus will be paid to working and Advocating with political, religious and traditional leaders to press for action towards adequate services for good health care
On the conclusion all the women groups in the coalition agreed that Nigeria will have to Demystify rumors against safe motherhood and polio issues, discriminatory practices against women and children through collaboration with with Media, use of ICTs and partnering with traditional , religious and medical institutions.
WOMEN FARMERS ADVANCEMENT NETWORK.