By Haruna Gimba
The Kebbi State Government and United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) have signed a joint annual work plan worth N1.46 billion to promote the rights of children and women.
The UNICEF Chief Field Officer, Mohammed Mohhiuddin, revealed this in a statement he issued to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.
The plan, which covers 2014 to 2017, shows that the state will contribute N372.1 million while UNICEF will provide N1.09 billion.
The plan aims at promoting the rights of children and women to survival, development, protection and participation to achieve improved access to and use of high quality and high impact health services.It is also aims to improve access to improved nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene intervention, quality basic education for vulnerable children as well as increased school retention, completion and achievement rates.
According to the statement, the plan is in line with UNICEF’s contribution to the attainment of the state and national development aspirations under the Sustainable Development Goals.
It said a UNICEF survey showed low demographic data for the state with infant mortality rate of 89 in every 1,000 and under-five mortality rate of 210 in 1,000.
The findings also indicated that 57. 4 per cent of children under-five in the state suffered from chronic malnutrition, 33.2 per cent of under-five children were under weight and 9.3 per cent under-five children were wasted.
According to the survey, exclusive breast feeding for children below five months is 10.3 per cent, antenatal care provided by skilled personnel is 22.7 per cent, while assistance during delivery by skilled personnel is 9.3 per cent.
The survey also showed that out of school children accounted for 69 per cent of total school going children and net attendance ratio at primary level was 22.3 per cent.
It said that in the water, sanitation and hygiene sectors, only 22 per cent of state population has access to improved water source, 55 per cent has access to improved sanitation facilities and 4.9 per cent use soap for hand washing.