Save the Children, an international NGO, says about 97 per cent of meningitis victims in Zamfara are women.The Area Operations Manager of the organisation in the state, Mr Kennedy Yibin, disclosed this on Tuesday at a one-day Stakeholders Round Table meeting on Women and Girls Empowerment and Health Outcomes and Indices in the state.
Yibin told the meeting that Save the Children monitored the victims of meningitis in isolation centres set up by the State Government at various health facilities to arrive at the percentage.
He attributed the development to poverty, illiteracy and poor accessibility to healthcare services.
He observed that a change of attitude at the family level, which is the “baseline” and without any cost, the woman would realise her potential and how to take better care of her family particularly the children.
He explained that the meningitis scourge would not have ravaged the state like it did if the women were empowered and their potential developed to a certain level.
Presenting a paper titled “Girl child education: Foundation for Women Empowerment in Zamfara State’’, a lecturer with the Federal University, Gusau, Dr Rabiatu Mafara, said women should be allowed to take control of their reproductive decision.
She said more incentives that would encourage girl child education should be introduced in order to maintain the enrolment and retention of the girls in school to enhance girl child education.
The don also charged governments at all levels to implement the policy of education for all in the country.