Upper East rural women Commend INTYON

Bolgatanga Some rural women in the Upper East Region have commended the Integrated Youth Needs and Welfare (INTYON), a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), for implementing UNICEF’s Communication for Development Programme on Maternal and Infant Health in some selected communities.

They said the project had helped to increase the attendance of pregnant women to delivering at health facilities, promoted exclusive breastfeeding among lactating mothers, high enrolment and retention of children in schools, reduced teenage pregnancies and forced marriages as well as inculcated the habit of hand washing among them.

The 500 women drawn from the various women groups in the region made the commendation when the INTYON embarked on separate monitoring and evaluation visits to some selected communities to assess the impact of the one year implementation of UNICEF’s Communication for Development Programme on Maternal and Infant Health project in 2016 and how the project could be sustained.

The beneficiary communities are; Gambibgo, Akoka, Dansongo, Asogrebisi, Zono, Sakarabisi communities in the Bolgatanga Municipality and Zuboeg, Sakpare, Gorogozure-Zuk, Gologo and Balungu communities in the Talensi District.

The women appealed to the NGO to continue with the project and extend it to other communities in the region to make significant impact.

During the visits it was revealed that only few households had constructed their household toilet facilities with majority of the households lacking the facilities.

The women groups further stated that women and children were most vulnerable in terms of open defecation and attributed the cause to continuous broken down of toilet facilities as result of poor nature of the soils in some communities.

The women groups therefore appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), and other Development partners to support them with technical and material skills to build what they termed simple toilet facilities.

Mrs Ayinpoka Apambila, one of the Volunteers from the Sakarabisi community said the trend of open defection in the region could be reduced when the MLGRD replicated the concept of Own a household toilet at half price programme, implemented in some parts of the Greater Accra region in the communities in the Upper East Region.

While asking the Municipal and District Assemblies and the Members of Parliament to support the fight against open defecation in the region, she reiterated the groups’ commitment to providing communal labour for the construction of toilet facilities in their respective communities.

Due to the project intervention some of the households who could afford the building materials have constructed their own household toilets and are using them. But there are others who cannot afford and will need support. Mrs Matilda Akabore one of the Volunteers from the Gambibgo community near the Bolgatanga Municipality stated.

While the women identified the lack of water facilities in some CHPS compounds in the region as another major challenge, they indicated that the implementation of the UNICEF’s Communication for Development on Mental and Infant Health project had contributed to the reduction in the outbreak of cholera and other communicable diseases as it enhanced the practice of regular hand washing, especially after visiting the toilet.

Source: Ghana News Agency