Spitfire: Media pledged to eradicate maternal mortality in Nigeria through news stories



By: Joy Odor/Kaduna

The Media Professionals in Kaduna State, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) and ‎Development Communications Network (DevComs) has pledged to work together in promoting Family Planning (FP) and Child Birth Spacing campaigns as part of measure to eradicate maternal mortality in Nigeria, particularly in Kaduna State.

The working agreement was reached at the end of a two-day Spitfire Advocacy Training Workshop on Family Planning and Child Birth Spacing in Kaduna State, North-West, Nigeria organized by NURHI and DevComs for Journalists.

At the of the training, the journalists who were ‎not happy with the huge numbers of maternal deaths ‎pegged at 1025 in every 100,000 live births‎ in the State, vowed to intensify a spitfire advocacy approach in reporting issues maternal health. ‎

‎One of the resource persons at training who is also the State Team Leader of NURHI, Mallam Kabir Abdullahi ‎had requested participants to make deliberate decision that would awaken stakeholders to rise and work in order to reduce MMR and increasing the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) in the state to the projected 47% from the present 20.2%.

This, the participants unanimously agreed to and pledges to aggressively commit their time and efforts to begin to appealing reports that would move policy makers and other stakeholders to give their attention to providing the required solutions that can end deaths in the State.

On her own part, the Programme Manager of Development Communications Network (DevComs), Mrs Omobonike Ogungbemi while appraising her organizations role as the media consultant to NURHI 2, said that a lot of success has been achieved in generating media content for the project.

She explained that DevComs has been strategic to the cause through deliberate programmes that were well researched before implementation, resulting to overall success.

The DevComs official said her organization is optimistic of the targeted unmet needs of CPR to be increasingly reduced significantly as a result of their efforts.

She explained that though there were times they were faced with challenges of organizing events within a short notice, they are happy they were able to overcome it.

“Some of the lessons we have learnt are that alternative approaches can be used to get results if one fails. For example, continuous communication of messages on family planning in the media can sustain its practice among beneficiaries and media users even when the project ends,” she said.

She recommended the need for continuous involvement of stakeholders with particular reference to media executives to sustain the support for family planning and its projection in the media.


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