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Maternal health: Group promotes ANC, folic acid demand, uptake in Yobe



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By Bala Dauda, Damaturu


A group, Forward in Action for Education, Poverty and Malnutrition ( FAcE-PaM) has organised a capacity building for 50 community health workers to support pregnant women in 5 local government areas of Yobe.

The project sponsored by Nutrition International had the theme : “ One-day orientation of community structure on gender responsive behaviour change intervention strategy for iron folic acid and zinc LO-ORS.”

Speaking at the orientation programme in Damaturu, the Project Manager, Mrs Dabis Mwalike, said it would be implemented in Damaturu, Yunusari, Fune, Gujba and Tarmuwa local government areas.

She said volunteers drawn from the areas were trained to educate pregnant women on the need for Antenatal Care (ANC) visits at least eight times as recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO).

Mwalike expressed concern that Nigeria contributes 10 percent of global maternal deaths ( according to Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2018 ), with low ANC visits among the causative factors.

The project manager noted that folic acid is an essential source of nutrients for pregnant women, saying that balanced diet alone could not meet all the nutritious requirements of a pregnant woman.

She added that folic acid is a blood booster, which should be taken daily at least within the first three months of pregnancy.

Mwalike called on husbands, community and religious leaders to always encourage pregnant women to go for ANC and ensure they take iron folic acid for maternal health.

Earlier, Mrs Hauwa Hassan Ahmed, Nutrition Focal Person, Damaturu Local Government Area, thanked the group for the awareness campaign in the state.

She charged pregnant women to eat balanced diet and ensure regular exercise for a healthy living.

Ahmed rejected the claim that folic acid intake leads to the delivery of overweight babies, saying the claim is baseless as it has no scientific evidence.

Our correspondent reports that highlights of the occasion include development and presentation of action plan by the participants.

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