The adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt across every socio-political and economic stratum of our society. It took a toll on our everyday transactional activities. It exposed the gaps that existed in our communities and had forced us to re-evaluate our ways of moving forward. In Nigeria, the health sector suffered the most significant blow to that effect.
In Bauchi State, the understaffed health system was also challenged by the advent of COVID-19. As a result, underserved communities and women were threatened by access to quality healthcare and the prevailing gender inequality across civil, political, economic, and social domains, which has been eminent due to retrogressive cultural practice.
To bridge this gap and nip the menace in the bud before it escalates, Plan International, with support from Global Affairs Canada, partnered with the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) in a project titled “Bauchi Opportunities for Responsive Maternal and Newborn Health – Costed Extension” (BORN-CE) from May 2021 to October 2021 and supported government and communities in Gamawa, Darazo, Misau, Toro and Kirfi LGAs of Bauchi State to adequately prepare, prevent and respond to the impacts of COVID-19. This was carried out through capacity building of 10 CBHVs, 2 members of 100 Women Group (100WG), and 2 Male Champions (MC) in each political ward of the five LGAs on reproductive health, family planning, and ways of responding to the COVID 19 challenges. The 1,134 equipped CBHVs, 100WG and MCs, in turn, received COVID 19 vaccination and conducted massive household health education and courtyard sessions to mobilize community members. 25-Year-old Aishatu Abubakar, from the Udubo community, is one of the 180 Community Based Health Volunteers (CBHVs) who has received 2 doses of the COVID 19 vaccine. Merging our capacity building and her ability to influence her community, her effort has helped ensure other community members accept the project’s services and for members of the community to get vaccinated in Gamawa LGA of Bauchi State. COVID 19 Vaccination in Nigeria is an ongoing immunization campaign in response to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic in the country.