Health: UNICEF expends N300million in Bauchi in five years


By; Mohammed Kawu, Bauchi.
United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) said that it has invested the sum of N300 million in Ready-to-use-Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) for the treatment of 28, 000 severely malnourished children in Bauchi State from 2011 to date.
UNICEF Chief Field Officer, Dr. Abdulai Kaikai who re revealed this at the flag-off ceremony of the state Maternal and New-born Child Health Week (MNCHW) in Bauchi, expressed optimism that the state government will successfully implement the MNCHW programme.
Dr. Abdulai Kaikai also disclosed that UNICEF has so far saved the lives of 5, 400 children since the inception of the Community- based Management of Acute malnutrition (CMAM) in Bauchi State in the past few years.
Kaikai, who was enumerating the achievements of the Fund in the state, said with the support of the government, it was able to achieved 86% coverage in the 2015 Measles National Campaign which targeted children aged 9 – 59 months, with mop-up exercise conducted to address missed children.
The Chief Field Officer further revealed that UNICEF extended direct cash assistance to the Bauchi State Government worth N13.8million for social mobilization, refresher training of health facility workers, monitoring and supervision, as well as State-level review meeting after every MNCHW round implementation.
He explained that UNICEF through its Bauchi office has continued to work with other partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International and the World Bank, among others, to support the state government implements the MNCHWs.
Kaikai also enumerated other achievements UNICEF recorded in the implementation of MNCHW in the state that include life-saving and development interventions to 1, 692, 560 children and women  through the provision of services such as de-worming, vitamin A supplementation, growth monitoring, immunization, ante-natal care and birth registration.
He further stated that UNICEF has achieved 97% of children aged 6 to 59 months and 519, 865 children aged 12 to 59 months in the last round of 2015, representing 53% were de-wormed, and 184, 724 pregnant women representing 61% coverage.
“We need to sustain the gains on Vitamin A supplementation and improved on the figure on de-worming and Iron Folate supplementation”, Kaikai said.
He stated that UNICEF has in the current round of MNCHW supported the state with 2, 571 bottles of Vitamin A – the Blue and Red capsules worth N6.8million to be given to children during the exercise.


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