United Nations’ Children Fund (UNICEF) has commended the Ogun StateGovernment for its efforts towards ensuring child survival in the state, particularly in the area of dissemination of keymessages on essential family practices.
The Chief, UNICEF Akure Field Office, Nigeria, Dr. Tushar Rane, gavethis commendation, during a meeting with Commissioners for Information,Permanent Secretaries of Ministries of Information, and media stakeholders fromOgun, Oyo, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo States on ‘Facts for Life’ (FFL) programme,saying the meeting formed part of the effort to take stock of strides made so farand chart a new course for sustainability.
Dr. Rane said the collaboration between the Ogun State Ministry ofInformation and UNICEF had yielded a positive impact on the lives of residents,noting that more people are gaining access to key messages that promote issueslike handwashing, exclusive breastfeeding, proper personal hygiene andsanitation.
He expressed delight that numerous radio stations have bought into thefree broadcast of the UNICEF ‘Facts for Life’ radio programme, adding that itwas created to disseminate vital information meant to increase every child’schances of survival.
“Although UNICEF has provided the necessary technical support tofacilitate the production of FFL radio programmes, the Ministries ofInformation in the States under our zone and FM radio stations have taken upthis initiative and ensured that the episodes of the programmes are being airedfree of charge. I want to say here that many global experts have described thisinitiative as excellent for Social and Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC).
“I appreciate all our partners for this success story,” he said. The UNICEF Chief who emphasised that the fight against infant andmaternal mortality in Nigeria could only be won through collaborative efforts,said the organisation would continue to build on the good relationship with theMinistries of Information under the Akure Field Office.
Alhaji Waheed Odusile, the Ogun State Commissioner for Information andStrategy, in his response, advised UNICEF to expand its scope to accommodatemental health for women at the grassroots, adding that the overall health ofmothers is crucial to the survival and growth of families.
“Let me also align with the need for capacity building ofstakeholders in the media. UNICEF can think of a way to contribute to thetraining of staff of their media partners, in order to ensure the rightmessages are disseminated. This will engender a better disposition of mediapractitioners to your programmes,” he said.
The Commissioner lamented that the traditional media may no longer beeffective for reaching out to teenagers, particularly female ones, who have shown a preference for online and social media, adding that they would turn out to be mothers in the future.