Monarch Lauds EU, UNICEF on Intervention in Kebbi, Seeks More Engagement on Community Development

By Alex Uangbaoje, Argungu, Kebbi

The Emir of Argungu, His Royal Highness. Alhaji Sama’ila Muhammad, has commended the European Union and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), for their various intervention programmes in Kebbi State.

The Emir made the commendation in his palace on Tuesday when a team from UNICEF, led by Rabiu Musa, UNICEF Communication Specialist to pay him a courtesy visit.

He said the intervention has transformed healthcare delivery system in most hard-to-reach communities and also the urban towns in the state.

The Argungu monarch, also charged the donor agencies on more engagement with traditional and religious leaders for community development, saying that is the only effective way development of communities can be fast tracked and to institutionalize ownership of programmes.

He appealed that as facilities are being built, accommodation for service providers should also be added, saying, “wherever health facility is built, it is important that accommodation is made available for service providers.

“In some of the rural areas facilities are available, but it is most inappropriate that officials will be living very far from their working areas. Child delivery can happen at anytime and there is need for doctors and nurses to be around 24 hours and that is only possible if they have accommodation within the facility.

“So just as you are providing equipment it is also important to provide accommodation for workers. There is also the need to intensify community engagement with traditional and religious leaders, they need to work very closely not just for provision of interventions, but to also know what are the needs of the communities.”

The Emir further said, “if I want to talk about these interventions, they are just too numerous, our people have really felt the impact of what EU is going, especially the I care for the pregnant women, the equipments we received here in Argungu, became responsible for state government intervention.

“Under the programme we have enjoyed a lot of extension and improvements in our facilities; from buildings to operators and staff and several others. The intervention has also made it possible for us to build a strong relationship with health workers and also community mobilisation efforts which has made our people to accept routine immunization the more..

“Also, the provision of motorcycles has made it easier for health workers to move from one place to the other, especially the hard to reach areas so as to ensure that our women and children receive healthcare assistance. These and many more are the impact and benefit our people have gotten from EU and UNICEF health initiative.

“It has been most helpful and it is our hope and prayers that it be extended for further assistance. Our state have a very low revenue, the population is increasing by the day and demands for healthcare services is also increasing, facilities are becoming insufficient for the population and interventions like these are the only way states in a country like Nigeria can meet their citizen’s health needs.

“So we thank the initiators of this programme, we thank everyone who is involved in this programme, especially the health workers, community mobilisers and volunteers. They have contributed richly to this programme.

“I want to sincerely say, on behalf of traditional rulers in Northern Nigeria, that we are most grateful to UNICEF and EU for enduring to work with us for many years now. And that goodwill has helped a lot in mobilising resources and making sure that what is giving is delivered to where it is supposed to make the best impact.”

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