By Helen John, IHP Gender, Social Inclusion, and Community Engagement Advisor, Bauchi State, Nigeria and Morgan Mickle, Gender Specialist, WI-HER, LLC
“This is actually a partnership that works. We were thinking after the fistula consultation meeting held, that will be all, but we were proved wrong. This donation wouldn’t have come at a better time because the Center is out of stock”. – Dr. Umar Nasiru Ibrahim, Managing Director of the Ningi National Obstetrics Fistula Center
In September 2019, the USAID-funded Integrated Health Program (IHP) and lead gender and social inclusion partner WI-HER, LLC supported the first Fistula Technical Consultation Meeting in Bauchi State out of which was formed the Advisory Committee on Fistula in Bauchi State. One of the roles of the Advisory Committee is resource mobilization for fistula prevention, care, support, and rehabilitation.
Recent Committee member visits to the National Obstetrics Fistula Center in Ningi and interactions with the vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) family planning unit revealed that family planning commodities – one of the key components of services provided to clients at the VVF center – were unavailable. The discovery prompted the Committee to engage local NGO Nakowa Community Empowerment for Health Actions (NACEHA) who donated much needed materials to the Center. Committed to advocacy and mobilization of community stakeholders for improved healthy behaviors, NACEHA’s contribution may help women delay pregnancy after fistula repair.
On November 14, 2019, the Chair of the Advisory Committee (Fistula Desk Officer for the State Ministry of Health in Bauchi) alongside IHP represented by the Gender, Social Inclusion, and Community Engagement Advisor and Knowledge Management Specialist, presented the donated commodities which included 10 doses of Jadelle, 3,000 Microgynon Pills, 3,000 Excluton Pills, and 300 Noristerat injection to the fistula Center. Managing Director Dr. Umar Nasiru Ibrahim received the commodities and expressed appreciation to IHP and the Advisory Committee for mobilizing the resources and assisting the Center in filling such an important need. He believes the commodities will have a positive impact for individuals accessing the Center’s services from his community and across the region. Encouraged, the Advisory Committee and IHP will continue to leverage partnerships and enhance collaborative efforts to improve fistula and related health needs across the State.
The USAID Integrated Health Program (IHP), led by Palladium, currently provides technical assistance to three States in Nigeria – Kebbi, Bauchi, and Sokoto – to strengthen health systems and improve access to and quality of RMNCH+NM and primary health care services. Expert gender integration and social inclusion partner, WI-HER, LLC, is proud to support this initiative and leads efforts that promote equitable services that reach the most marginalized populations while working to advance IHP goals and objectives.