USAID project launches Push Away Diarrhoea campaign in Benue
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in its flagship project, Shops Plus in its continued efforts to sustain health outcomes in private sector in Makurdi the Benue State capital launched campaign against diarrhea, a major childhood killer disease in Nigeria.
Chief of Party, Shops Plus Nigeria, Mrs. Ayodele Iroko, while addressing a mammoth crowd of stakeholders at Benue Hotels, explained that Shops Plus is a flagship project by USAID that has the aim to increase the use of priority health services through the strategic expansion of private sector whole health system.
Iroko stated that the Push Diarrhoea Away campaign in Benue has become critical, as diarrhoea has in the past caused deaths in children under the age of five in most local communities in the state.
She stressed that the programme target is to achieve its initiatives through quality and prevention of diarrhoea in children with the use of ORS/Zinc tablets across the nooks and crannies of communities in the state.
Also speaking, the Office Director of USAID Nigeria, Nancy Lowenthal, intimated that at least 240, 000 Nigerian children die every year from diarrhoea related illness, ranking the country as the second highest in the world.
Lowenthal expressed sadness that diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria were the leading causes of childhood killer diseases, hence the need to partners with stakeholders to join hands together in order to end all forms of preventable child and maternal morbidity.
In a key note address, the state commissioner for Health and human services, Dr. Cecilia Ojabo, expressed disgust over the high prevalence deaths caused by diarrhea in the state and advised the people to try to eradicate the menace through improving the quality of water sources, environmental cleanliness, hands washing etc.
She urged people to cultivate the habits of using toilets and stop open defecation as well as develop the habit of regular hands washing stain the tide of the disease.
The launch which was attended by wife of the state governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Eunice Ortom who was decorated as Zinc/Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) champion in the state went on to give recognition to 722 community volunteers trained as Zinc/ORS volunteers and designed the 23 wives of LG administrators as advocates who would pass the message to households in all the 23 local council areas of the state.