The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said that it is satisfied with steps taken so far by Kaduna State Government, in addressing problem of acute malnutrition among women and children .
The UNICEF Deputy Executive Programmes officer, Omar Abdi who came from the United States alongside other officials of the organisation, said apart from timely release of counterpart funding, Kaduna State government has shown a vision, commitment and strong drive in addressing issues affecting children in Kaduna.
The UNICEF team leader, who stated this while inspecting some malnutrition intervention projects at the Primary Healthcare Centre in Dutsen Abba, Zaria Local Government Area of the state said, “We have come here as part of UNICEF leadership from New York. The purpose of the visit was multiple. We have gone to the Northeast Borno state particularly, and we have discovered that the challenges women and children are facing is not only in Borno state.
“Now we are in Kaduna to meet with state authority and at the same time to come to the community level and see how the service is being delivered at the children’s level. We are completely satisfied with what we have seen in terms of engagement and commitment from both the government and community, it is very satisfactory and there is room for improvement.
“We at UNICEF are just supporting by bringing technical assistance. We bring expertise from different parts of the world. Its all about how we can save and protect more children.
“The government of Kaduna is one of those we want to use as examples in terms of commitment and in terms of releasing budget for children. I think there has been several instances where as a result of interaction or as a result of sharing data through an advocacy process, we have seen the governor releasing counterpart funding. The one I would like to refer to which was close to $1million launched last year’s January in support of buying more therapeutic food for children suffering from acute malnutrition.
“Let me also say that its not only about money or resources, but the government has shown a vision, a commitment and strong drive in addressing issues of children in Kaduna. That is what we want to build on and move forward”, he narrated..
A leader in the community, Dr. Khalid Kugu who commended the state government and UNICEF for their intervention on the issues of women and children, however wants the state government to supply electricity and additional health workers to the facility for effective service delivery.
According to him, "on the issue of malnutrition, UNICEF and Kaduna State government are doing a good job. But this is bringing a lot of people here and apart from thousands of people in this community, others are benefitting, people are coming from as far as 30 kilometers away from here.
“We want the government to do more. In 2013, I was a local government Vice Chairman and we approved contract on electricity supply to this community but surprisingly up till now, it has not been completed though they have started. We have communicated also to the state government and they have sent their team to come assess the level it is today. The people here have been using their resources to support the local government. The local government has sent about 15 staff but the community itself has raised over 100 volunteers and that is why we are appealing to them to send more staff”, he requested.