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UNICEF partners Sokoto Govt to improve school enrollment, nutrition

By Habibu Harisu
Sokoto –   UNICEF and Sokoto State government have reiterated commitments toward ensuring maximum success in the fight against malnutrition among children, improving community hygiene and primary schools enrollment in the state.

UNICEF Deputy Country Representative in Nigeria Pernille Ironside, made this known on Monday while inspecting ongoing projects at different communities across the state.

Ironside expressed appreciation over the progress made on various projects, adding that the achievements had impacted positively on the lives of benefiting communities.

According to her, the projects are on right track.

She said that UNICEF aimed at improving people living standards through facilitating access to community water supply, preventing open defecation, hand washing campaigns and other environmental protection systems to ensure good health.

According to her, children and mothers health are also targeted through Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme in addition to facilitating child immunisations, antenatal care, safe child delivery and others health programmes.

The representative said that increase in child enrollments to modern schools was also part of the UNICEF interventions in Sokoto State, stressing that effort to facilitate integrated model Islamic schools with modern education system of teaching were fully on course.

She pointed out that UNICEF had signed another five years intervention programme in Nigeria and urged communities to sustain the achievements so far recorded to support the upcoming projects in order to achieve the desired results.

On the CMAM project centre in Arkilla Primary Health Care Centre, State Commissioner for Health, Dr Balarabe Kakale, said mothers were encouraged on exclusive breastfeeding of their babies and were educated on local preparation of children diets.

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

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

In Adare Model Primary School in Tangaza Local Government Area, the State Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Arzika Tureta, said the state government had paid its N400 million counterparts funding on SHAWN projects.

The commissioner also led the team to renovated toilets and hand washing instruments provided for the children.

Tureta said that community members were mobilised 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 Tambuwal for the supports that ensured the 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 incorporate in the integrated school systems designed by the present administration.

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

He expressed optimism that enrollments into normal primary and Qur’anic integrated schools would be enhanced.

He said that scheme to employ teachers within community of the host schools was also designed to prevent cases of teachers absence that were usually a source of worry for teachers recruited from afar. (NAN)

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