UNICEF harps on need to interpret intervention programmes

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), says there is the need to interpret intervention programmes in local languages so as to improve the healthcare of Nigerians, especially women and children.

The Akure UNICEF Field Office, Mr Tejinder Sandhu, stated this at a Fact For Life (FFL) meeting stakeholders including the media on Tuesday in Akure.

The meeting organised by Ondo State Ministry of Information and Orientation in conjunction with UNICEF participants from Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun, Osun and Edo states.

According to him, the translation of the intervention programmes into the local dialects would enhance larger coverage and change the health behaviour of the people.

The UNICEF chief noted that the stakeholders meeting was targeted at checking the progress made on the resolutions to improve healthcare of the people at the last meeting held in 2018 in Akure.

According to Sandhu, during the last meeting, it was resolved that English version of FFL radio programmes should be reproduced in Yoruba Language in order to reach a wider audience of the population.

Good voices on radio from the concerned states should be used in the production for self-belonging programmes,he added.

UNICEF Communication for Development Specialist, Mrs Caroline Akosile, had earlier said that the meeting would also discuss launch of Yoruba FFL as agreed by majority to break communication barrier among the states.

Akosile explained that it was a deliberate effort to expand FFL partnership, explore sustainability and ownership; and to agree on next step for the promotion of FFL.

She said that FFL had been translated in 215 languages and that 200 countries had adopted it.

The communication specialist revealed that Akure had 14 chapters on child protection with four themes on immunisation, safe motherhood, sanitation and Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF).

Also speaking, Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Yemi Olowolabi, said that the partnership with UNICEF’s Communication for Development (C4D) unit had impacted positively on quality health delivery in the state.

Owolabi said the collaboration had also improved on the standard of living of mothers and children, leading to remarkable improvement on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) campaigns.

In all, there are 120 wall paintings on hygiene and sanitation and another four paintings on exclusive breastfeeding in the three senatorial districts of the state.

This is in addition to numerous Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials that we have produced to further educate our people on hand washing with soap and water.

We are on the last lap of airing of FFL programme on our radio station, Orange 94.5 FM Akure. We have completed the airing of 49 episodes on hygiene and sanitation, EBF and immunisation.

The last 13 episodes on care of new born are currently running on the station every Wednesday, he said.

Speaking on the translation of FFL to Yoruba Language, the commissioner said it will reach and empower segments of the population in need of these messages since majority of our people will ‘grab’ the messages better in their mother tongue.

We also promised to make our state-owned radio stations available for the programme free of charge, he said.

Olowolabi expressed optimism that the various intervention programmes across the country would enable Nigeria meet up with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals on new born care.

Source: Voice of Nigeria