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Lagos has achieved 55 percent compliance in self-care-Health Ministry

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By Victoria Onehi

The Director, Health Education,Lagos state Ministry of Health, Mr. Badejo Olusegun, has disclosed that the state has achieved up to 55 percent compliance in self-care among its population.

Self-care intiative is aimed toward integrating Nigerians in urban and rural areas to be able to carry out certain health care activities on their own at home without the services of healthcare providers or having to go to the hospitals after receiving training and taught procedures.

Olusegun stated this while speaking at the orientation programme organised by the John Snow Inc.(JSI) in Partnership with the Federal Government held recently in Lagos, for Civil society groups and staff of Ministry of Health in the state.

 He said :” In the state,we have achieved up to 55 percent compliance in self-care among our population. We will adopt and adapt the guidelines given to us by the Federal Ministry of Health and put it in our 2024 annual operation plans.”

“We have started integrating self-care programmes in our health promotion activities and of course reproductive health and family planning. We are also going to cascade the training we have had here to all other health educators and health care providers across the care level so that everybody will know that it is a business we have to carry out to ensure that people are healthy from time to time and that they can take responsibility for their health.”  he said.

Olusegun said the state will encourage more partnership at this level so that it can have more funding in the production of IEC materials.

The Director and Head of VVF branch, Reproductive health division of the Federal Ministry of Health Mrs. Remi Bajomo, said the team has carried out orientation and advocacy programme across 22 states in Nigeria.

“We want people to be able to access services whenever they need it and that means that all the products and everything they need is available once they have been counsel appropriately.  

All these are important to help our citizens live a healthy life and avoid bad habits.  The federal government’s desire is for the citizens to be better human beings. Once the health workers have informed them of the whole product available and they choose one, they will be taught like two times and ensure the people are confident before they give them the other doses that they can take at home.” Bajomo explained. 

The Director added that health workers should ensure they document all their activities so that the government can have data to enable it ascertain what are the challenges and where the gaps to be filled are located and help the government make informed decisions.

JSI In-Country Lead for Self-Care Accelerator Project (S-CAP), Miranda Buba Atare explained that the essence of the programme is to provide an orientation on the national self-care guidelines for sexual reproduction and maternal health and demand generation strategy for self-care.

 “We aim to bring all the relevant stakeholders together to give them an orientation of these guidelines and strategies as well as some of the promotional materials so that they can use this as a basis to operationalise self-care in Lagos.”She said.

Miranda affirmed that JSI will ensure the self-care programmes that are not in the system are integrated so that they are not seen as something new.

She warned that “Self-care does not encourage drug abuse, it does not encourage misuse of product and that is why we are working with the health promotion officers on the awareness because people need access to the right information that enable them to move from one stage to another while practising self-care because it not separate from the health system but an extension.”

The JSI In-Country Lead said the response across the country has been very promising with various states promising to domesticate the guidelines while the trio of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe state have actually started domesticating the guidelines. She urged Lagos and other states to follow suit.

 “The fact that one is able to inject his or herself with contraceptives while at home does not mean that they will not go to the facilities for re-supply, counselling and inform health workers of any adverse effects on their bodies, that is why the message is very key for us. The reason why we are working with promotion officers to create the awareness is so that they give people the right message and understanding.”She noted.

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