Kogi Trains Community Health Influencers to Reduce Infant Mortality, Morbidity

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The Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA), has organised a 12-Day training for the Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Services (CHIPS) agents aimed at reducing infant mortality rate and morbidity at the grassroot.

Speaking at the training centre in Lokoja, the State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Zakari Usman, urged the participants to look beyond the technical content and concentrate on every aspect of the 12 days training.

According to to him, it is not enough for you to know, but you must also be able to transmit the same knowledge to others at the local government level.

”You are being trained as a trainer to be able to train others, so everyday of the 12 days is important.

”I implore you to commit yourselves to the training because the quality of implementation is going to be dependent on what you stepdown at the local level,”Usman said.

He urged the participants to have confident in what they do and ensure that everything was documented for medical history, institutional memories, and for their own safety.

While advising the CHIPS agents to operate within their scope, and not become overly ambitious, Usman charged them to always meet their target expectations and go the extra mile.

The Commissioner assured that he would be part of the team who would monitor the implementation performance.

”So, I want you to commit yourself to these 12 days, and when you get back to the facilities, diligently transfer the knowledge you have learnt to others at the grassroot,” he advised.

Earlier, the Executive Director, KSPHCDA, Dr Abubakar Yakubu, said the CHIPS programme would be first piloted in four out of the 21 local government areas of the state for convenience.

According to him, the four LGAs is for convenience for us to pilot and see how effective the inputs we are putting on the program before we now spread out to other LGAs.

”The maternal mortality rate is 576 per 100,000 as far as the indices for Nigeria is concern. For a mother to die because of child bearing is not acceptable anywhere by any standard.

”This is why we are putting all efforts to see that we stem down this tide,” Yakubu said.

He enjoined the participants to perform their functions as CHIPS agents at the LG level, so as to reduce morbidity and mortality rate across the state, and consequently improve the indices.

Also speaking, Hajia Rabi Abdullahi Obaji, the CHIPS’ Focal Person, KSPHCDA, said the essence of the training was to reduce infant mortality rate and morbidity at the grassroot.

She said the CHIPS agents would be at the facility level to sentise, create awareness and acceptability through primary healthcare at the grassroot.

”This is the first time the CHIPS is coming to the state and we are starting with four LGAs, which are: Okene, Bassa, Idah and Yagba West.

”There is index indicator that shows that these four LGAs should be prioritised because of the infant mortality rate in the census record of 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2022,” Obaji said.

One of the participants, Pharm. Onoja Alexander David, said the program was very rich because of the concept behind it which was to achieve the universal health coverage.

”This program is far enriching which teaches the need for CHIPS agents to be able to meet the expected target and even go extra mile at ensuring that the health needs of the people are being met,” he said.

Another participant, Hajia Balikis Mohammed from Okene, said the CHIPS training would enable adequate sensitisation for people to accessing the healthcare facilities at the grassroot.

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