Health Education and Empowerment Initiative (HEDEN), a non-governmental organization that promotes public health and social change through participation and community building held its town hall meeting in Kaduna.
The organization, which is headquartered in Ogun state, southern Nigeria opened her Northeast office in Goningora with the wrapping up of the year with townhall meeting with stakeholders on the need to have all hands on deck to move the community forward.
The town hall meeting organized by HEDEN aimed at rallying support public health interventions and building the capacity of community stake holders on engaging HEDEN on available platforms on her innovative programs and projects interventions to bring about sustainable development of the community.
The theme of the town hall meeting is: Public Health and Community Building of Goningora. The townhall meeting also provided a platform for information sharing on steps that can be taken by everyone to help strengthen the resolve to be involved in lifting up the community.
During her presentation, the Executive Director of the organization, Folasade Ofurune x-rayed what the organization has achieved over the past 17 years and highlighted the various areas of interventions.
She further lamented the neglect of major community players in ensuring sustainable development. She was incensed about the increased sexual abuse cases, the neglect of health by individuals, pregnant women not seeking care, neglect of men in interventions, youth decadency, abortion and other social vices.
She further called for support of all and sundry in addressing all the burdens of public health.
As a public health expert, Ofurune mentioned the that HEDEN intervention covers a large spectrum of community development.
The question-and-answer session, experience sharing, and elicited feedbacks was an exposé for HEDEN in planning future interventions.
The Sarkin (Village Head) of Goningora, Chief John Dodo. Y, through Mr. Anthony Ife who represented him expressed satisfaction towards HEDEN s programmes.
According to him, the village head was intrigued by the concept of Public health, social change, participation and community building on which HEDEN is hinge.
He however mentioned the need for the long-term sustainability of all HEDEN’s intervention and implored that it should not be a flash in the pan. He promised support of the palace towards HEDEN’s interventions.
Also speaking at the event, Hon. Amos Sabo harped on the mantra of ‘Leave No One Behind’.
In his remark, he emphasized the need to give serious attention to the physically challenged in the community.
He praised the effort of HEDEN as an organization to deem Goningora fit for the interventions.
On his part, our strategic partner, AY Block Industry, represented by the Managing Director, Mr Kunle Ogunbo highlighted the need for the organization to collaborate more with partners, especially in realizing a Community Health Centre for the Goningora community.
He pledged his continuous support for the organization.
Participants noted that religion is failing the community and parents are also shacking their responsibilities, hence the level of depravity in the community.
In attendance are Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), NGO representatives, educationist, youth leaders, representative from religious organization, Kaduna State present a good starting point for HEDEN’s Public Health interventions in Northern Nigeria, as a region also disenfranchised by conflict.
International organizations working in public health should collaborate with HEDEN towards achieving her vision of “a world in which communication saves lives, improves health and enhances well-being”.