Bauchi State Government has been advised to include in its budgetary allocation, funds to run Advocacy Core Group for social behavioral Change in the state.
Co-Chair of the group Khadi Abdullahi Yakubu Marafa made the plea during a symposium to religious and traditional leaders from across the 20 Bauchi Local Government Areas on justice and fairness organised by the USAID Breakthrough Action-Nigeria.
Abdullahi Marafa said the group as a social behavioral change Cross-learning platform is interested in changing the mindset and behavior of community members as regards 17 priority health behaviours bordering around immunization, ANC visits, malaria prevention, maternal child health, plus nutrition.
According to him, despite the ongoing efforts of the state government, and the intervention of implementing partners such as the USAID Breakthrough Action-Nigeria in the state, there is still a lot of work needed to be done to save the lives of women, and children in the state.
“Over the years we have a high rate of maternal mortality and infant mortality. We know that some of the social and behavioural factors are responsible for this, so we need to beep up” Marafa noted.
He, however, lauded the present administration in the State in providing an enabling environment for USAID and her projects to thrive.
Abdullahi Yakubu Marafa then appreciated the USAID Breakthrough Action-Nigeria for its great efforts towards achieving best practices in health matters, especially that of maternal and new born, urged stakeholders involved to continue working together towards reducing maternal, newborn and Child morbidity and mortality in the State.
“Community members, market women, town union, and all the actors should be involved to ensure that the purpose is achieved” Marafa said.