By Catherine Philip Jelani
It could be recalled that on November 30th, UNFPA under the leadership of the State Planning Commission had hosted a 2-day meeting with its Implementing Partners to; - develop a draft for 2016 Annual Work Plan consolidating on 2015 achievement and aligned with state strategic priorities, to introduce tools that will be used to review production made by Implementing Partners in 2015 and prepare 2016 planning exercise.
However, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is one of these Implementing Partners.
It is therefore in this regards that today being December 17th 2015 that UNFPA (United Nations Funds for Population Activities) meets with the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development as well as Community Volunteers at the Ministry’s Conference Hall, State Secretariat Complex, Yola.
The objectives of the meeting are;-
v To identify Community Volunteers, create awareness to their various communities under established referral Pathway to health facilities available.
v To introduce Participants to the Emergency Transport Scheme (volunteer drivers).
v To intimate Community Volunteers on the need to keep records and reports of their activities.
The State Programme Officer Auwal Abubakar gave a detailed explanation of what the Referral Pathway is all about adding that it is simply a channel through which SGBV (Sexual Gender Based Violence) services can be access. The SGBV services include all medical and Legal Services.
Similarly, Mrs. Anna Balami Director Women Affairs who read the Welcome address on behalf of the Hon. Commissioner Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development Alhaji Aliyu Bello Tola who was unavoidably absent said, UNFPA in collaboration with the Ministry has identified Health Facilities and provided necessary support and health needs for survivours of Rape and Sexual Gender Based Violence GBV, Pregnant women etc. as targets for the Implementation exercise. For this reason, there is a need for serious awareness creation for communities that are close to such Health Facilities to enable them key into it.
However, the Honourable Commissioner emphasised that it is the duty and responsibilities of the Community Volunteers present at the meeting to disseminate information on the identified Health Facilities and also to serve as a network between the Health Facilities and their communities so that the objectives of the programme can be achieved.
He added that Society for Family Health (SFH) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in collaboration with Ministry of Emergency Transport Scheme are ever ready to rush victims of Rape GBV, pregnant women and women with complications during delivery to the nearest health facilities point for urgent attention in order to save lives.
On the other hand, the Technical Officer, Prevention and Mitigation on Family Health International FHI360 Yola, Mr. Joseph Emmanuel Chiegil in a brief remark said that being a lead partner in HIV/AIDS, Adamawa State is also a key stakeholder in Gender Activities in the state. He explained that FHI360 Supports 29 Health Facilities in the state by providing comprehensive HIV/AIDS control including Post Exposure Prophylaxis PEP adding that every reported case of rape must be referred to the hospital for HIV/AIDS Testing and Counselling within 72 hrs. Both victims and culprit must be tested for HIV/AIDS. He concluded that after testing positive to HIV they should be enrolled for treatment and if negative should be placed on PEP for 30 days.
The Volunteer Communities present include;-
5. Yola North
6. Yola South
In a closing remark, Mrs. Balami urged the Community Volunteers to ensure that they pass the message across to their various localities because UNFPA is ready to make life easier for them.
At the end of the day, the participants were provided with a comprehensive list of names and phone numbers of the volunteered drivers at their various locations.