REPORT OF THE TRAINING PROGRAMME ON COMMUNITY SYSTEMS STRENGHTENING (CSS) HELD AT OBAFEMI OWODE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SECRETARIAT, OWODE, OGUN STATE BETWEEN THURSDAY 19TH AND FRIDAY 20TH JULY, 2012

The programme tagged “Community Systems Strengthening (CSS)” started on Thursday 19th July2012 and ended on Friday 20th July, 2012. The objective of the program is: to strengthen the community based networks and community level committees to ensure that they have minimum capacity to deliver quality ATM services.
ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) is in charge of implementing the initiative. Organizations included in the initiative are Association of Civil Society Oganisation in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN), Civil Society for HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (CiSHAN) and Civil Society for the Education of Tuberculosis in Nigeria (the TB network)
As a result, our organization “GenDi” was one of the NGOs that represented ACOMIN at the gathering. It is a health training program in which community members from 5 different words; CSOS from ACOMIN, CiSHAN and TB Network; and health representatives from the wards actively participated.
The programme, after the opening prayer, started with a recap of the previous day’s activities through participants’ contributions. From their submissions, it could be deduced that participants were educated on the prevention and control of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDs; living in peace with people affected with these diseases; community development processes with special emphasis on community entry; and organizing and coordinating a Ward Development Committee (WDC) meeting.
Following this, a role play of organizing and coordinating a WDC meeting was carried out. Fortunately, I was one of the selected WDC members. WDC has a chairman, a secretary and a treasurer. The meeting which was held for 20 minutes was assessed and commented on by other participants at the programme. The role play was able to impact practical knowledge of managing conflicts among other things in a meeting. It also presents certain “troublesome persons” as a means of providing checks and balances within the committee. A major fault discussed about the meeting was that there was no sign of financial contribution made by the WDC members at the meeting.

Participants in each ward were then asked to identify some health/development issues that urgently require attention in their respective wards. This was done by the community representatives and the health worker with the guidance of the CSOs during prioritization of the issues. The issues are expected to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) and will be implemented by the WDC.
I was grouped into the Obafemi WDC where we identified five (5) issues, how to solve the issues (Activities), persons responsible, resources needed and the time frame the respective issues are to be solved. The issues identified by the team are bushy environment around the health centre, inadequate skilled staff, insufficient beds, no electricity or generator and no water (all at health centre).
A copy of the CAP was kept with the focal person (health representative – Mrs Aikulola) while another copy was submitted to the programme coordinator. The progress on the implementation exercise is to be done quarterly by ActionAid Nigeria. The WDCs are expected to meet monthly, carry out advocacy visits to community concerned, mobilize resources, implement the CAP, and submit reports.
According to the programme coordinator, Mrs Caroline, WDCs will be financed with a sum of ten thousand naira only (N10, 000) per month after submitting the minute of the month’s meeting. Transport fare of N1500 per day was given with break fast and lunch.
The programme which was meant to end on Saturday 21st, 2012 ended around 1:15pm on Friday 20th, 2012 because of the Local Government Election exercise.

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