OYO STATE RECORDS SUCCESS IN TACKLING NEWBORN DEATH

Following concerted efforts geared towards tackling newborn deaths in Oyo State, there is a new story to tell now, as the infant mortality rate in the state has greatly reduced.

The Pace Setter State, which was one of the states in Nigeria with high number of newborn deaths before now, has made significant progress in tackling the menace.

This was made known in Ibadan recently at a two-day Media Dialogue on Improving Health Outcomes for Children in Oyo State Through Accelerated Action for Impact (AAI), organised by Oyo State Ministry of Information And Culture and Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board in conjunction with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).

Speakers at the Media Parley disclosed that the successes recorded in reducing newborn deaths in Oyo State were as a result of AAI intervention by UNICEF.

Speaking on the intervention, the Health Specialist, UNICEF, Akure Field Office, Dr. Adebola Hassan, explained that AAI was aimed at ensuring that no child dies from a preventableE cause and that all children attain their full potential in health and we’ll being.

According to Dr. Hassan, six local governments, which are Egbeda, Ibadan North East, Ibadan South East, Ibarapa North, Saki West and Kajola had highest rate of newborn deaths in Oyo State.

However, she said the AAI intervention focused on three of these local governments, which are Ibadan North East, Saki West and Ibarapa North where neo natal mortality was prevalent.

Also speaking, the Oyo State Immunization Officer, Mrs. Titilayo Nihinlola, stated that through the UNICEF intervention, the number of unimmunized children in the state had reduced.

The AAI intervention takes care of Health Services such as training of Health Workers, Immunization, Family Planning, Delivery, Post Natal Care and Nutrition.

Report by: Oludare Moses Morenikeji

Register Early for antenatal and ensure that your baby takes all the Immunization dozes 

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Progress Made in The Abandonment of FGM in Nigeria

FACTS ABOUT FGM

Female genital mutilation refers to all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organ for non-medical reasons. Effects of female genital mutilation also known as female circumcisions are enormous and have long term physical, emotional, psychological effects on women and girls. These include bleeding, shock, infections, leakage of urine/feces (VVF), genital tissue swelling, birth complications, emotional trauma, sexual health issues, problems with their partners/spouses and death.

About 200 million women and girls worldwide are living with the effects of female genital mutilation according to
Female genital mutilation violates the rights of women and girls. It is a form of gender-based violence.

6 states have a high prevalence of female genital mutilation in Nigeria: Imo, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ebonyi, and Edo States.

 

PUBLIC DECLARATION BY COMMUNITIES TO ELIMINATE FGM

Members of the Oyo Messi Elders Council at the Oyo state public declaration to Abandon FGM

Izzi Clan, Ebonyi State

At Izzi community, a young girl in the company of two other girls fled from home one night as they were about to go through the initiation rite to womanhood which included female genital mutilation. Their brave attempt to escape led to the intervention of the child protection network, UNICEF, Ministry of women affairs and this started the process of engaging the custodians of culture in Izzi community in a sensitization effort. On the 16th of June 2017, 26 communities in Izzi clan and three other LGA (Abakaliki, Ebonyi, and Izzi) made a public declaration on the abandonment of female genital mutilation. The declaration was signed by the traditional ruler’s forum and custodians of the Izzi culture and royal fathers.

Imo State

On the 23rd of November, 2018 the several sensitization and education of many communities by UNICEF, NOA and other partners culminated into the public declaration of 28 communities in Ngor-Okpala Local government to abandon Female Genital Mutilation. At the event were the State Director NOA, Mr. Vitus Ekeocha, UNICEF Consultant on FGM for Ebonyi and Imo, Mr. Benjamin Mbakwem, traditional rulers, groups of women, men and the youths representing the various communities.

Oyo State

One of the traditional practices upheld by some parts of the Yoruba land is the act of female genital mutilation also known as female circumcision. On the 20th of December 94 communities in Oyo from Oorelope 49, Kajola 24, and Oyo West 21(LGAs) made a public declaration to abandon the practice of FGM.
After several community engagements with community members and public enlightenment with various stakeholders( artisans, youth, men and women’s groups, traditional and religious leaders) communities in Oorelope, Kajola, and Oyo West made the decision to henceforth protect the future of girls and women by putting an end to FGM.

The public declaration of these communities took place at the palace of His Royal Majesty Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III. The Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Oyo state, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu; representatives of UNICEF , Dr. Olasunmbo Odebode, Child Protection Specialist for UNICEF and Mrs Olutayo Aderonke , the UNICEF Consultant for FGM in Ekiti, Oyo and Osun explains and High chiefs of Oyo Messi were all present at the public declaration to eliminate FGM.

Benefits of public declaration: Endcuttinggirls website

Osun State

Similarly, 38 communities in Osun state held an event in 2018 where community members and stakeholders signed an undertaking to eliminate the harmful cultural practice of FGM. Osun state has the highest prevalence of FGM practice in southwest Nigeria. In the words of the UNICEF consultant on FGM for Osun, Oyo and Ekiti, Mrs. Aderonke Olutayo, “the event rewrites history and marks a new chapter for the next generation of girls and women in these communities”. The state director NOA, Osun, Mrs. Yomi Olasinde and other partners were present at this historic event.

Edo State

In January 2019, Edo State passed the Violence Against Persons Bill into Law. This law makes provision for perpetrators of Female Genital Mutilation to be sentenced to “life imprisonment”, without a fine in the state.

Media campaign on Radio, TV and social media have greatly contributed to increased awareness about the long term effect of FGM on women and girls. There are ongoing education and sensitization among school students. This is to equip the young generation with the necessary information so that they can be empowered to say NO and also prevent their own children from being cut in the future.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Over 3000 Africans to Benefit from the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (2019)

One of the factors that promote women empowerment is financial strength and economic stability. No wonder more women are striving to be managers of their own businesses.

This was evident in the number of females that applied for the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme for African Entrepreneurs. 42% of the 216,025 applicants were women who slugged it out with their male counterparts. In fact, all the chosen Entrepreneurs from Seychelles are Women.

At the end of the contest, 3050 were most favored to benefit from the support that TEF and its partners are making available for African Entrepreneurs for 2019 season.

Over 3000 African Entrepreneurs drawn from all the 54 African countries are to receive seed capital of 5000 dollars each in addition to a 12-week business training programme and mentoring to boost their enterprises. The names of the successful Entrepreneurs that formed the 5th Cohort of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship programme were announced at an event in Abuja recently.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation had committed a 100 million dollars to empower 10,000 African Entrepreneurs over a 10 year period with the aim of creating at least one million jobs and contributing over 10 billion dollars in revenue to the African economy.

L-R: Founder,Tony Elumelu Foundation, aTEF,Tony O.Elumelu,Wife of Nigeria’s President, Mrs Aisha Buhari and Trustee, Dr.Awele Elumelu.

In her remarks at the event, the Wife of the President of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Buhari lauded the impact of the programme on the African continent and charged the selected entrepreneurs to contribute to the advancement of the continent. She said, “Indeed, I am confident that these Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs will inspire deep confidence and be of immense value not just to Nigeria but to the entire continent.”

L-R: Incoming CEO,TEF, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO TEF,Parminder Vir,Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, Amb.Shimon Ben-Shoshan, Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs.Aisha Buhari, andTrustee ,TEF,Dr. Awele Elumelu.

Earlier, The founder of the foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu, explained that “every year, we face an almost impossible task to select 1,000 Entrepreneurs from the hundreds of thousands that apply. Our Entrepreneurs are hungry to effect change. We know we are only scratching the surface, we see the depth of entrepreneurial talents that all of us -government, businesses indeed African society, must harness to transform our economies and livelihoods. We must rally together to empower them and accelerate the change we want on the continent.”

The incoming Chief Executive Officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, announced that the programme had successfully empowered 7520 Entrepreneurs in its first five years of the 10-year programme.

Ugochukwu noted that the 2019 selection includes 2050 Entrepreneurs supported by the TEF’s partners in addition to the foundation’s Annual commitment to empowering 1000 Entrepreneurs.

The foundation’s partners include the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, the Federal Republic of Benin(Seme City), the Anambra State Government(Nigeria), Indorama, the Government of Botswana and the African Development Bank(AfDB).

In 2018, the foundation launched TEF Connect which is a digital networking platform for African Entrepreneurs and open to all, to further democratize the access to opportunities for the thousands of Entrepreneurs that cannot directly benefit from the Entrepreneurship Programme.

Meanwhile, the newly empowered 3050 entrepreneurs alongside other African Entrepreneurs would converge on Abuja, on July 26-27, 2019 for the annual Entrepreneurship forum which is said to be the largest gathering of Entrepreneurs in Africa.

Guest Post – Written by:
Afolasade Osigwe (2017 TEF journalism fellow)

Guest Post:Tony Elumelu Foundation to Launch the World’s Largest Digital Platform for African Entrepreneurs.

We all need dream supporters to help bring alive our goals. Organizations like the one in this post,  Sade Osigwe, a dear friend and colleague shares below,  gives hope to young entrepreneurs in Nigeria. We need more philanthropic individuals and bodies like this. 

IMG-20180823-WA0001
Some Entrepreneurs with the Founders of Tony Elumelu Foundation

Nigeria will on October 25, 2018 play host to two major African Presidents. They are President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.

The event is the 2018 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum,(TEF),taking place at the Federal Palace Hotel,Lagos.

The forum will also host about 5000 Entrepreneurs and 200 Investors as well as Government Administrators and Policy makers. The TEF founder,Tony O.Elumelu is expected to moderate the interactive session with the two African Presidents.

The brain behind the summit which is also the Africa’s leading entrepreneurship-focused philanthropic organisation,The Tony Elumelu Foundation had committed $100 million to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs over a period of 10 years.

Being in its 4th year, the foundation has empowered 4,460 entrepreneurs with a total investment of USD 20million,out of which 4000 were funded directly by the foundation while the remaining 460 were sponsored by TEF partners.

The Entrepreneurship forum was borne out of the foundation’s resolve to foster trade and business networking opportunities just as the 2018 theme centres on ”empowering African Entrepreneurs”.

This year’s event will also feature the launch of the world’s largest digital platform for African Entrepreneurs. Similarly,there will be a pitching competition and Investor-ready panel session for the budding Entrepreneurs.

Writter: Afolasade Osigwe-braimah is a broadcast /online journalist, producer, presenter, translator and script writer. Afolasade also trained as a Demographer with great interest in women,children and the elderly as well as development -oriented endeavours. She received the 2017 TEF African journalism fellowship to cover the 3rd TEF Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos in 2017.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) 

 

A-DAY OUTREACH ON FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES (FP) In commemoration of World Population Day at Oje Market, Ibadan

A view of Oje Market on Tuesday 10th July 2018 Photo by @debisibusybeeMedia
NURHI Community mobilizers sensitizing market men & women about the ongoing free family planning service outreach. Photo by @debisibusybeeMedia

At the Oje Market bustling with activities where market women display their wares and goods to sell to customers, the atmosphere was a mixed ambiance of buying and selling noise and drums with dancing.

Something was up at the market on this day. Right at the center of the market close to the “Babaloja” (Chairman of the market) tents were mounted up and chairs arranged to receive beneficiaries of the free family planning services been provided for the market women and anyone who was interested in accessing this service.

As one of the media crew who was present to cover this exciting program I observed that a few women were already sitting waiting patiently as the health workers and FP service providers set things up putting in place products to serve these dear women who keep working hard to make a living and taking care of their family members. Other women hawking bread; food vendors and so on dropped their wares to take advantage of the moment. I knew juicy stories were waiting for me here but most of all it was great seeing these low income earning women get the opportunity to make a decision about their reproductive life.

The slogan for the outreach-

Family Planning is Life Planning: Know About it, Accept it, Access it.

Nigeria currently ranks  number 7 in the world population. In a 2017 report earlier by UN- Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) the country is expected to be the the third most populous nation in the world! Nigeria with a projected population of 187million is expected to grow to about 250million. This is alarming given the nation’s economic indices and GDP growth which is not commesurate to cater for provision of basic amenities and sustainable livelihood for citizens. The government need to plan for the future by putting in place measures to control population explosion that will further impact negatively on our economy.

Meet two of the beneficiaries as they share their FP story and onwhy they showed up at the outreach:

Mrs Idowu and her baby after taking her free injectable family planning method. @debisibusybeeMedia

Mrs. Idowu Olaide – FP Service beneficiary – A tailor 
I am at Oje Market to access the free family planning services been provided here today. I became a user of FP because my older sisters who are also mothers are users of family planning. This encouraged me to also become a user when I began to have my children and It has been three years now since I started using FP. I am on the 3 monthly injectables Family planning method. So today I came for a follow-up visit to have another dose of my FP method. I have enjoyed the method I use. Often I tell other women to also go and access family planning because it has many benefits. It prevents a woman from getting pregnant when she is still nursing a baby

Mrs Saheed after collecting her FP Pills in an interview with Journalists. @debisibusybeeMedia

Mrs. Saheed Suliat 
I became educated about family planning and its benefits through awareness on the radio and then at the clinic nurses and health workers talk to us about it. I have been a user of the Pills family method even before I got married. Today I am here to access free FP services and therefore I was able to get my pills for free here at this outreach in the market
This particular beneficiary had a misconception that FP prevents sexually transmitted diseases. It is important to note that only Condom has a double protection which is preventing unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Some of the Facilitators of the Outreach share their thoughts :

Mrs. Victoria Segilola -Program Officer ARFH
This outreach is all about bringing the family planning services to market women who find it difficult to leave their business to go family planning to access services. So we have brought the free services to their doorsteps and attending to clients does not take more than 10 minutes and then they can go back to their shops. Team members and mobilizers are all over the market sensitizing the market women and men.

Mrs. Segilola has been an advocate for family planning for over 40 years.

I am happy at the progress we have made in reducing maternal mortality rate according to statistics. This the basis of all efforts at encouraging more women to take on family planning. And it is heartwarming to see that all collaborative efforts have greatly improved peoples uptake of FP.
However, these women need the support of their husband and government. More Funds investment by the government will improve these low earning women to have free access to family planning services.

Mrs. Stella Akinso State Team Lead, NURHI Oyo State
We are here at the Oje Market to let people know that family planning uptake is not by cohesion it is voluntary. Promoting the right of every human being to access FP particularly Women of Reproductive years
Right to information and quality services about family planning that will empower them to make the right decisions
Data shows that there is high knowledge but low acceptance of FP especially with rural and urban-rural women who still need their husband’s permission to take up Family planning services. We are encouraging spousal communication but also want people to know that it is the right of every individual of reproductive age to seek and to access family planning services.

As we celebrate another world population day it is imperative to understand that it is the right of every citizen to make informed choices about planning their lives in order to achieve a more productive life.

In our efforts to combat poverty we must pay attention to our population and be sure that we have enough resources to cater for our growing number.

Organizers:
National Population Commission in collaboration with development partners ( The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative(NURHI 2); Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN); Association of Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH); Oyo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OYSACA); and National Orientation Agency (NOA).

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) 
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

#WomenYouCanRun 2: Memoirs From International Women’s Day Celebration: A Charge to All Women and Those who Want to Take up Leadership Positions #Nigeria

I was part of`the Press crew who Interviewed Honorable Mulikat Adeola after a special International Women’s day lecture organized by NAWOJ Oyo State chapter. I thought her thoughts were worth sharing here and not just via the radio and television.

Honorable Mulikat: As we are today in Nigeria there is still a lot more women who don’t have their voters card; a lot of women who are of voting age and they don’t have their card. I will implore them to go and get their voters registration card. Once they do that, they will be able to participate, it’s a process. After that, they should support women.

What we are trying to do right now is to mobilize women to support women. And so if we have a substantial number of women with the voter’s card and they are able to support women there will be a difference in the results as opposed to what we had the last time in 2015.

And for those who are going to contest elections, I think they should have started campaigning because politics is not something you just jump in and expect a result. So they should have started to begin to know their environment very well, you need to ensure that you have all it takes to participate. Because by the time you will be going for screening, they will be asking you for some necessary qualification. You must have all that and you must be able to carry the people around you along, it depends on where you want to go to.

If you want to go to the house of Assembly definitely you will know your constituency; begin to work with them; work with the leaders; work with the party members. And be yourself, for me, I don’t believe in pretending. You need to let people know who you are and what you are there for. I pray that women will stand for women. We are out to mobilize, sensitize and also encourage a lot more women to participate come 2019.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Project Director Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama. Communication4Development
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

105 Dapchi School Girls Kidnapped Released #Nigeria – Who is Playing Games with the Lives of Our Children, Our Girls?!

On February 19, 2018 about 110 Dapchi School Girls were kidnapped during school hours by gun men who came in a number of vehicles. I haven’t been able to wrap my head around the incident. It was simply heartbreaking to hear that another set of school girls had been abducted. This was coming in the wake of the Chibok girls whom we are yet to recover from the clutches of the terrorists group for 4 years now.  Yes some have been reportedly found but I doubt if we will ever recover all of them. So for me hearing about the Dapchi School Girls abduction was just too much…. I haven’t been able to put pen to paper to talk about the issue. But hearing about their release some minutes ago….. I have to say something!

This morning we received the news that the suspected Boko Hiram terrorist who abducted the girls came driving into Dapchi town in nine vehicles with 105 girls out of 110 girls earlier abducted. These are girls from JSS 1-SSS 3 and between ages 11& 19. I can’t imagine the horror of it for the girls and their parents.

It is a relief to hear that these girls are back home and will be reunited with their families. However I wonder again who is really behind this kidnapping. Is it just the Boko Haram group or we are actually acting a political drama at the expense of the lives of our young school girls.

Who knows what the abductors must have done to these girls! Possibly many if not all have been sexually abused 😖 And we are also hearing that 5 of the girls may be dead!!

This is totally unacceptable! Who is playing a dirty game with the lives of our children? Who is playing an evil game with our girls?! Something needs to be done to prevent a repeat of this horrible act. 

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Project Director Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development. 
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com