UNICEF, Sokoto Partnership: Deputy Rep Excited Over Level of Achievement

By Alex Uangbaoje, Sokoto

Sokoto state government and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Monday, reiterated commitments towards ensuring maximum success on fighting malnutrition among children, improving community hygiene and primary schools enrollment in the state.

Deputy Representative UNICEF Nigeria, Pernille Ironside expressed excitement over the progress being achieved on various projects in Sokoto State, adding that the achievements have impacted positively on the lives of benefiting communities.

 Ironside, who was on a monitoring visit to ongoing projects at different communities across the state, stressed that the interventions were on the right direction.

She disclosed that UNICEF had signed another five year intervention programme with the federal government of Nigeria and urged communities to sustain the achievements so far recorded and also support the upcoming programme circle in order to achieve the desired results.

According her, UNICEF aims at improving people living standards through facilitating access to community water supply, preventing open defecation, hand washing campaigns and other environmental protection systems which were prelude to good health.

The Deputy Representative, explained that children and mothers health were also targeted through Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme in addition to facilitating child immunizations, antenatal care, safe child delivery and other health programmes.

She added that increase in child enrolments to modern schools was also part of the UNICEF interventions in Sokoto state, stressing that efforts to facilitate integrated model Qur’anic with modern education system of teaching were fully on course.

Speaking at CMAM project centre in Arkilla Primary Health Care Centre which was rehabilitated by UNICEF early this year, State Commissioner for Health, Dr Balarabe Kakale, said mothers were encouraged on exclusive breastfeeding of their babies as well as educated on local preparation of children nutrients.

Kakale added that the efforts was to complement UNICEF support on malnutrition supplements noting that food items were readily available in our communities and urged families to live up to the expectation on their responsibilities.

He led the team to Child Delivery Rooms and other sections in the facility upgraded by the present administration of Governor Aminu Tambuwal in accordance with his mission of One Functional PHC Per Ward Approach.

In Adarawa Model Primary School in Tangaza local government area, the State Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Mohammed Arzika Tureta, said the state government has paid its N400 million counterparts funding on SHAWN projects and also led the team to renovated toilets, handwashing instruments provided for benefit of  children.

Tureta said community members were mobilized to take care of the solar powered boreholes and schools facilities as measure to ensure projects sustainability of the items through community involvements.

He commended Governor Tambuwal for supports that ensure success of the programmes noting that the Governor made access to joint UNICEF/State government funds readily to execute programmes.

Speaking at Integrated Qur’anic model school in Takatuku community in Bodinga local government area, the State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary School, Dr Jabbi Kilgori, said 4,000 Qur’anic schools were targeted to be incorporated into the integrated school systems designed by the present administration.

Kilgori said an inaugurated a committee of traditional rulers under the leadership of Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, to facilitate the programme and ensure high enrollments in recognition of social, traditional norms and beliefs on the side of most parents on modern education perspectives in the society.

He expressed optimism that enrolments into normal primary and Qur’anic integrated schools would be enhance adding that scheme to employ teachers within community of the host schools was also designed to prevent cases of teachers absence that were usually become a source of worry as teachers were recruited from far places.

The Deputy Representative accompanied by the Chief of UNICEF Sokoto Field Office as well as other staff of the agency jointly with all the 3 commissioners of Health, Basic Education and Water Resources believes that the monitoring visit was very useful and a step forward to further enhance the existing collaboration for children in Sokoto state.  

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