USAID’s Largest Health Programme Celebrates Transition Event

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With an investment exceeding $100 million, Breakthrough ACTION-Nigeria – USAID/Nigeria’s largest social and behaviour change programme – said it has driven initiatives from maternal and child health to malaria prevention, significantly improving health outcomes nationwide.

The transition event, held in Abuja on Wednesday, united government dignitaries, ministry representatives, donors, media and programme champions to celebrate the project’s achievements.

Breakthrough ACTION-Nigeria showcased its multifaceted approach, which includes mass media campaigns, community engagement and innovative social media strategies.

Project director of Breakthrough ACTION-Nigeria, Dr. Shittu Abdu-Aguye emphasised the collaborative efforts behind the project’s success. “With USAID’s support, we’ve had the privilege to enhance the health and well-being of people across Nigeria,” Aguye remarked. “Together, we’ve saved and improved the lives of millions of mothers, fathers, children, and babies.”

He noted the project’s pivotal transition as it transfers its efforts to Nigerian government agencies and community organisations. “As the project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), concludes its seven-year transformative journey in Nigeria’s health sector,” he said. “Breakthrough ACTION-Nigeria leaves behind a legacy of impact, setting the stage for continued progress in Nigeria’s journey towards improved health and well-being.”

Science Nigeria reports that health indices in Nigeria have improved due to many factors. The public health approach of social and behaviour change identifies what individuals and communities believe and how they behave, then develops innovative strategies to help them adopt healthier behaviors and access vital health services.

Since its inception, the project used a multifaceted approach—including mass media, community outreach, and user-driven social media campaigns—to inspire long-lasting change. These efforts resulted in positive changes across several health areas, including reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, nutrition, malaria, tuberculosis and COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

Abdu-Aguye highlighted, “Women who participated in community activities were significantly more likely to practice multiple preventive behaviours compared to women who did not participate. This includes attending at least four antenatal visits during pregnancy, delivering in health facilities, exclusively breastfeeding, consuming a diverse diet and receiving preventive malaria medication at least three times during pregnancy.”

Racheal Abujah
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