The Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) on Saturday held a stakeholders meeting on impact of UNFPA funded Civil Society Engagement (CSOE) project in Borno State.
In her opening remarks at the meeting in Maiduguri, the State Programme Officer of PPFN, Hadiza Umar Sabo, who gave a brief history of PPFN, said the meeting is part of the UNFPA CSOE COVID-19 intervention project being implemented by PPFN in seven states which focused on GBV, SRH and COVID-19.
Sabo said the project in Borno covered Maiduguri Metropolitan, Jere and Konduga LGAs.
In his welcome address, the Acting Executive Director of PPFN, Dr Haruna Okai, whose speech was read by Umar Shettima, said the UNFPA CSOE COVID-19 response project being implemented by PPFN in Borno and some states was also to strengthen the capacity of health facilities and service providers.
Okai explained that their capacity was strengthened through technical support and information on COVID-19, Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services.
“I will like to appreciate each and everyone of us here present who have since the beginning of this project, collaborated and worked tirelessly and selflessly to ensure the project is being implemented successfully.
“We want to thank the government representatives, UNFPA, co-implementors, community representatives and other colleagues for your contribution and continuous supports to the implementation of this project, ” Okai said.
In his goodwill message, the representative of UNFPA, Kelvin Chukwuemeka, said the UNFPA funded project, through PPFN, was to ensure that essential GBV and SRH services were integrated with behavior change interventions to equip and empower the vulnerable and general population with information.
This, he said, was to enable the people to prevent and respond to GBV and access integrated GBV and SRH services, and remain safe from the COVID-19 virus.
“The project ensured that access to essential GBV and health services were maintained in order to reduce COVID-19 related risks, morbidity and mortality, and to minimize disruption of critical socio-economic and health services.
“And mitigate the pandemic related impacts on critical infrastructure and pre-existing gender inequalities which perpetuated GBV and reduced access to information and services.
“UNFPA contributed to the rapid implementation of Nigeria’s COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Pandemic Response Plan around 10 key pillars, including coordination in line with SDGs 3 and 5,” Chukwuemeka said.
In his goodwill message, the representative of Borno State Ministry of Health who is also the Acting Director, Desease Control of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Goni Alhaji Abatcha, lauded the intervention of PPFN and UNFPA in transforming the state healthcare delivery system at the grassroots, particularly at this period of COVID-19 Pandemic .
Abatcha who assured sustained government collaboration with PPFN and UNFPA, said the state government on it’s part has opened 87 sites for COVID-19 vaccination to contained the pandemic.
Abatcha said the state had recieved doses of Moderna vaccines for everyone from 18 years and above, while doses of AstraZeneca vaccines were also available for those who recieved the first jab in March, mostly frontline health workers and elderly persons.
He said that the second dose of the Moderna vaccine would be 28 days after the first dose.
The director noted that the first AstraZeneca vaccination exercise recorded 98 per cent success.
In thier respective remarks, Pastor Usman Chiwar who represented religious leaders and Mallam Bulama Hassan who represented traditional rulers, lauded the project by UNFPA and PPFN.
They said it greatly assisted in providing the needed healthcare support and enlightenment on the COVID-19 pandemic in affected communities of Maiduguri Metropolis, Jere and Konduga LGAs.
Highlights of the meeting include the presentation of report on the impact of the CSOE project and sharing of experience by stakeholders.