Monday, July 5, 2021 10:04 pm
By Adejoke Adeleye/Abeokuta
To further strengthen the health system in Ogun State, the United Nations Population Fund Agency (UNFPA) in conjunction with the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) has launched a unique USSD CODE called “Text4life”, to report cases of Gender-Based Violence, medical emergencies and other health issues.
The initiative was designed to facilitate prompt intervention by health professionals.
This was made known by the Focal Person of PPFN, Mrs. Omotayo Adeyemo in Abeokuta at a workshop organised by the agencies in Abeokuta.
She added that the USSD code is *347*161# and it is free, user-friendly and would not require the use of a smart phone to access.
According to Adeyemo, the pilot phase of the scheme would take off in Abeokuta-South and Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Areas (LGAs) and with support from other relevant stakeholders, it would be spread to the remaining parts of the State.
She disclosed that 50 community leaders and 33 health workers in the two LGAs had already been trained on how to respond and handle cases on Gender-Based Violence, Family Planning, Adolescents and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health, among others, to improve clients and residents’ access to health information and services in their respective localities.
The focal person stated that smart phones had been distributed to the trained health workers in 33 selected facilities for proper medical consultation and documentation of patients who are in need of care from their homes, particularly in remote communities, pending the arrival of professionals.
“It is just like the code for our bank transfer. You are not required to have credit on your phone before you access the service and it is very easy to operate. What you need to do is to dial *347*161# and you will be connected to a health worker at the closest primary health center to you”, she explained.
She added that UNFPA in collaboration with PPFN had in recent time distributed Personal Protection Equipment and other consumables to primary health care centers in Sagamu, Abeokuta and Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Areas to enhance service delivery.
She also called on other donor agencies, corporate organisations and individuals to support government at all levels.
Speaking on behalf of other participants, Olufunmilayo Ajisafe and Mathew Ayinde-Dada appreciated the organisers for the gesture, saying the training had broadened their knowledge and would promote the initiative among residents in their areas.