By Dennis Agbo

The Enugu state government has pledged to domesticate the Federal Ministry of Health’s self-care services, a practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s health.

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ike Obi made the pledge when the federal government’s team and support partners took the advocacy programme to Enugu.

“Enugu state will look into the national guideline on Self-care and adapt what will suite the interest of the state and the peculiarity of the health sector in the state,” Obi promised.

One of the team leaders and Director of Reproductive Health in the Federal ministry of Health, Mr. Lawrence Anyanwu acknowledged the pledge of the Enugu state government, noting that state governments are expected to fund the capacity building on Self-Care amongst their health workers.

“We are hoping that each state government will support dissemination of information, especially sensitization to the local governments and community levels. Ensuring that various outlets both public and in private sectors are identified and empowered to play their roles in their States,” Anyanwu said.

One of the support teams and Country Coordinator, John Snow Inc. (Access collaborative Project), Dr. Adewole Adefalu, revealed that 145 girls and women of reproductive age die daily from pregnancy-related complications in Nigeria and about 214 million women and girls in low and middle-income countries who wish to avoid pregnancy currently cannot access modern contraceptive methods when they need it.

“Self-Care provides an opportunity to reduce barriers to accessing sexual reproductive health services and improve the wellbeing of girls and women. It’s the ability for individuals, families and communities to promote, maintain health, prevent disease and cope with illness with or without the support of a healthcare provider,” Adefalu said.

National coordinator, White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria, Mrs. Christiana Asala stated that the World Health Organization, WHO, in June 2019, consolidated guidelines on Self-Care interventions for health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, providing the first global, normative guidance for a collection of Self-Care interventions.

Asala noted that “In 2020, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health became one of the foremost countries to domesticate the National Self-Care guidelines.

“The domestication of the guidelines set the ball rolling to scale up self-care policies and programs in order to transform health care systems and place autonomy, power, and control, in the hands of women and girls” Asala said.

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