The outbreak of Coronavirus has the potential to worsen the high unmet need for family planning which currently stands at 19% due to limited access to FP commodities, sociocultural objections, intimate partner preference, and male partner refusal for method use. In recent months since the first quarter of the year 2020, there has been a steady rise in poverty rates, loss of confidence in the health system and GBV hence, most women and young girls often postpone seeking care due to fear of contacting COVID.
Goal: To Promote a sustainable behavioral change by the use of diverse and effective behavioral change communication strategies to influence health-promoting behaviors including correct and consistent hand washing and hygiene practices, effective use of face mask, maintaining social distancing, addressing gaps in service provision on Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and engaging community members to mitigate socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic
- Build the capacity of 60 RCCE community champions (20 per LGA) participants on increasing access of women and girls to information and services on GBV, HIV, TB & SRH Health services including SRH, dignity/menstrual, and condoms.
- Create awareness among adolescents and young people for GBV/SRH information and services including COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
- Provide information, education, and voluntary testing on HIV/AIDS iv. Create referral linkages for TB, SRH services including GBV within the community.
The project titled “Risk Communication and Community Engagement intervention of the National COVID-19 Multi-sectoral Pandemic Response Plan”, with a proposed three-pronged approach:
- broader risk communication and community engagement and sensitization for social and behavioral change;
- alleviating the economic impact for the most vulnerable women and girls and their households; and
- ensuring adolescent, youth, and women’s constituencies play a role in monitoring the overall pandemic response and its appropriateness for women, men, girls, and boys. Through this intervention, there will be the encouragement of the leadership role of adolescents, youth, and women in the response and community cohesion as well as ensuring continuity and access to essential services will be emphasized.
The project provided information and services on GBV, HIV, TB, and SRH such as FP, dignity/Menstrual kits, and condoms including COVID-19 prevention packages. The capacities of students as peer educators on sexual reproductive health and rights livelihood skills and health care workers in project health facilities in the provision of mental health and psycho-social support for girls at risk and survivors of rape/survivors of rape/FGM were major hallmark of the project.