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Lagos, NGO collaborate on data collection training

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Alive & Thrive, in partnership with the Lagos State Government, has trained 20 Monitoring and Evaluation Officers (MEOs) of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) overseeing the Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) Project in seven Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state on the National Health Management Information System (NHMIS) 2019 tools.

The three-day training which was held in Lagos also had in attendance representatives from the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board and the Ministry of Health.

The training’s objectives were to build the capacity of participants on the MIYCN indicators as associated with data elements within the NHMIS tools and Data gathering process using the NHMIS tools for data collection, collation and reporting of MIYCN data.

With the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Alive & Thrive in 2022 inaugurated the MYICN Project to scale up access to nutrition in seven states across the country.

To implement the MYICN project, Alive & Thrive partnered with CBOs in communities across the country.

Head of Health Statistics, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Flora Awosika said the objective of the training was to build capacity of participants on MIYCN indicators.

Awosika said: “We have been able to put the health workers through on the new version of the NHMIS tools for data collection, collation and reporting of MIYCN data.

“The NHMIS tools are registers used to collect data starting from health facilities to the state level and this data are used to monitor the growth of children starting from birth to age five.

“This stage is the most critical stage of a child and the indicators will help us to know if they are growing well, stunting or under-weight”.

She commended Alive & Thrive for supporting the state on its program on infants and mother nutrition.

At the training, a MEO from Lagos Island LGA, Zainab Agbalaya said that the training will help the state to generate data for MYICN intervention.

She said: “The training is a good initiative because usually capturing data for infant feed in these, not something we take important but now that this initiatives are coming, it is going to get better when it comes to data collecting of what is going on in our community and our facility”.

“Although we’ve been capturing data before but this just boosting what we’ve already done in our facilities it is not new, it’s just a continuous process to help boost what has been going on. Data is life and getting data on maternal and infant feeding is going to help in making decisions when it comes to initiatives or programmes that are going to help children in the community because when a child is fed properly he is immune to diseases and child mortality is going to be reduced”.

On challenges faced when capturing data at the the health primary health facilities, Agbalaya said that reporting has been one of the challenges.

“There are many challenges but the main challenge when it comes to data capturing is reporting, so this training helps to teach health workers to get the job done properly. It is only when you capture the proper data that you can report properly.

The MEO of Champagne Foundation, Mr Hassan Yussuf said that officers that were trained are from Mushin, Alimosho, Badagry, Lagos Island Apapa, Shomolu and Epe LGAs.

He added that the training will improve the knowledge of health workers in record-keeping. “In order not to miss data, the training teaches how to fill those registers properly so that the state can have data on MYICN and intervene accordingly”’ he said.

Yussuf said the NHMIS training is about how to fill correctly the registers and tools which health facilities are using.

“There are the growth monitoring tool registers, it is the one we use to take the weight and height of children to come to the facilities, those that receive vitamin A, deworming tablets and labour and delivery register is to know the number of women that come to give birth at health facilities and another register is to know regular participants. Pregnant women are supposed to meet up with at least eight visits of their Antenatal Care”, he said.

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