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Nasarawa Government Collaborated With NGO With The Training Of 271 CHEW To Tackle Infant Mortality

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The Nasarawa State Government in collaboration with Jhpiego, an International NGO, have trained 271 Community Health Extension Workers (CHEW) to tackle maternal and infant mortality in the state.
Dr Ibrahim Adamu, the state’s Director of Public Health, disclosed this on Wednesday in Lafia at the End-of-Project Dissemination event on Task Shifting and Task Sharing.
Adamu said that the training, conducted under the Task Shifting and Task Sharing policy in the state, was supported by Jhpiego, an affiliate of the John Hopkins University in the United States with funding from the MacArthur Foundation.
He explained that under the project, CHEWs working at the various Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the state were being trained and monitored by doctors to handle maternal and newborn cases as well as referral of complicated ones to secondary health facilities.
“The Task Shifting and Task Sharing Policy is an interim measure to make up for the shortfall in number of Doctors and Midwives required to man the PHCs across the state.
“Majority of our women, especially in the rural areas go to the PHCs for delivery and the CHEWs might not have the necessary knowledge and skills to handle such, hence the need for the project to build their capacity to be able to provide those services and reduce maternal, infant mortality
“The programme started in 2015 in the state with Jhpiego training 90 of the health workers, while the state government through the Ministry of Health and state Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NSPHDA), domesticated the policy by training more, bringing the total of trained CHEWs in the first tranche to 271,” Adamu said.
He assured that the training would continue and assured that the over 900 CHEWs working across the 760 PHCs in the state would be trained giving the impact of the programme on the lives of the people so far.
“Our plan is to train all the over 900 CHEWs in the state and we are doing that in phases as it has been captured in the state budget and supported by other national and international agencies,” Adamu said.
He said the programme has helped to drastically reduce maternal and child mortality in the state with reduction in pregnancy complications as well as increased management of issues relating to maternal and child health.
Similarly, Dr Olutayo Martin, the Project Manager of the Task Shifting project in Nasarawa and Adamawa States, said the project aimed at empowering the CHEWs with new skills outside their scope of training in order to safe lives.
She said the CHEWs drawn from 45 PHCs in the state were trained on how to handle pregnancies, FP, quality improvement and other areas to improve maternal and child health.
She noted that the project had been a success as the report from the secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities in the state indicated that women attendance was now better compared to what was tenable in the past.
“Women are now being referred early to the secondary and tertiary health facilities in good and resuscitated condition, with increase antenatal turn out at the facilities, among others.
“Our overall results showed improved service delivery in all the facilities we trained the CHEWs with reduction in still-births among the women that delivered in those facilities,” she added.

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