By ALEX UANGBAOJE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and European Union (EU), have improved the capacity of 5,733 health officers in Kebbi State between 2016 and 2019.
UNICEF’s Health Specialist, Sokoto Field Office, Dr Danjuma Nehemiah, who made this known in Sokoto on Thursday, said that 3,000 of the health workers were Community Health Extension Workers.
Nehemiah said that the officers were trained under the Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN), project aimed at enhancing quality of health and nutrition service in the state.
He said that the project was being funded by EU and implemented by UNICEF to also strengthen primary healthcare and community resilience for improved maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition outcomes.
He said that the officials were trained to be able to plan, implement and monitor progress in the delivery of healthcare services and nutrition interventions in the state.
According to Nehemiah, the goal is to enable the health workers effectively deliver high impact health and nutrition services to children under five years, pregnant women and lactating mothers in the state.
“I am very confident that with the improved capacity, the health workers will continue to deliver quality health and nutrition services even when the MNCHN project winds up in August.’’
The health specialist equally said that about 39 primary healthcare facilities, out of the 99 facilities earmarked for renovation under the MNCHN project, had been renovated and handed over to the government.
“We are in the process of completing the remaining facilities to support and strengthen healthcare service delivery in the 225 political wards in the state.
“We have equally supported the 225 facilities with commodities, especially basic drugs for children under five years and pregnant women.
“Equipment are also provided in the facilities which include diagnostic equipment, furniture like beds and examination couches among others,’’ Nehemiah said.
He added that the project also provided water, including sanitation facilities like toilets and hand washing points in the renovated PHCs to promote Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), practices.
According to him, under the WASH programme, the water facilities have been extended to communities where the health facilities are cited.
“The MNCHN project also ensures that 120 out of 225 health facilities have Community Management of Acute Malnutrition sites for the treatment of acute malnourished children,” he added.
The state’s Nutrition Officer, Mrs Beatrice Kwere, had told journalists, in Birnin Kebbi, that no fewer than 102,761 malnourished children in the state had been treated between 2016 and 2019.