By Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/ Kano
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has donated oxygen plant to Muhammadu Buhari Specialist hospital, owned by Kano state government.
UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative, Ms Cristian Munduate, stated this during a Press Conference at the UNICEF Kano Field Office to wrap up her two-day official visit to Kano and Jigawa states.
Munduate said the Kano State government will soon fix a date for the commissioning of the brand new oxygen plant.
She expressed satisfaction over her interactions with the governments of Kano and Jigawa states and commended them over their efforts to ensure the welfare of children, even though she pointed out that more needed to be done, particularly in the area of out-of-school children and primary healthcare delivery.
She said UNICEF was prepared to provide assistance to Kano state government for the establishment of functional primary healthcare centres across the 484 Wards in Kano state, for effective healthcare delivery, particularly to children and nursing mothers.
According to her, “Kano state has 484 wards, and 484 apex Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs).
“Kano state is expected to have one functional PHC that can provide a full complement of Tier I Minimum Service Package (MSP) services that provide 24/7 service and is staffed with adequate numbers of skilled birth attendants to provide Ante-Natal Care (ANC), delivery, and Post-Natal Care (PNC) services.
“Currently, Kano has 185 PHCs close to fulfilling the one functional PHC/ward criteria. These facilities will fulfill the requirements with minimal resource allocation from the state government. Kano state has 50 PHCs that meet one functional PHC /ward criteria.
“Therefore, to achieve the SDG target, the government must invest to have functional PHC in 484 wards that meet the requirements by 2026.
“The births of 1,271,814 children under 5 years have been registered in Kano state since digital birth registration started in 2022.”
Munduate, however, expressed joy that Jigawa State is the first state to be declared open defication-free, followed by Katsina state, while appealing to Kano state to wake to the challenges of open defecation which she said breeds diseases such as cholera and even polio.
Munduate, however, regretted that
a total of 989,234 primary school age children are out school in Kano, pointing out that, “this includes boys and girls.”
She added that, “Nigeria has now reached 500,000 users of the Nigeria Learning Passport, and hopes to double this figure next year.
“1.5 million girls were enrolled in school under the Girls’ Education Project Phase 3, implemented from 2012 to 2022 (10 years).
“The project was funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK through UNICEF, and implemented in the states of Kano, Bauchi, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto and Zamfara.”