Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has said that it would provide technical support to Sokoto State Government to enable it to reduce infant mortality rate across the 23 local government areas in the state.
The UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate, stated this when she led a high power delegation on an advocate visit to Governor Ahmed Aliyu at Government House Sokoto.
Munduate explained that UNICEF is ready to work with Sokoto State in the area of health service delivery, water, sanitation and hygiene.
She disclosed that things were not the same like 10 years back but stressed that more is needed to be done to improve the living standard of women and children in the state.
Governor Aliyu said that his government would inaugurate a committee to work with UNICEF in addressing challenges facing the state in the thematic areas of nutrition, education, health, WASH, child protection and social policy.
He said: “You are coming here to support us to make our lives better. So, if you are coming to support us and make our own lives better, why can’t we support you to do that?”
The UNICEF’s Chief, Kano Field Office, Mr. Rahama Farah, said that about 1.6 million people across the state were facing hunger.
“This is based on the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), which was done in 2021.
“Out of the above number, about 63,000 people across the state were suffering from acute food insecurity.
“Out of the state’s two million under-five children, 1.2 million were stunted, 574,200 moderately wasted, 250,151 severely wasted and 1,376,000 currently suffering from anemia,” Farah said.
He expressed UNICEF’s readiness to work with the state government to ensure that over 1.6 million children aged between six to 59 months received two doses of Vitamin A supplements to tackle malnutrition.
He added that UNICEF would also strengthen coordination and partnership in support of the delivery of different life-saving interventions to 143,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in the state.
According to Farah, prevention of malnutrition through scaling up maternal, infant and young child nutrition in the state remained one of the ultimate priorities of the organisation.
He added that the aim of the visit to the new governor was to strengthen the existing good relationship with the state government, particularly in the areas of health and education, among others.