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Nigeria is key in achieving world SDGs target on child survival- UNICEF

Dr Annefrida Kisesa-Mkusa, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Chief Field Service Coordinator for Nigeria, said a lot depended on Nigeria for the world to achieve its target on child survival.

Kissea-Mkusa made this known in an interview with newsmen in Yola.

According to her if the issues of children in Nigeria were not addressed, the world could not achieve it targets of SDGs on children.

“If the issues of children in Nigeria are not solved, the world cannot achieve its targets of the SDGs that relate to children.

“Actually, when you look at the children of the world, Nigeria accounts for about 11 percent. It also accounts for 30 percent of children in Africa.

“In other words, if the issues of children in Nigeria are not solved, the world cannot achieve it’s SDG’s targets”.

Kissea-Mkusa who is in Yola for a two-day end of year review meeting of activities of UNICEF in Adamawa, Gombe and Taraba states said the review offers opportunity to know the real situation on ground.

“When we do reviews like this, we say we have achieved a lot, but when the surveys are done at the ground level, when we look at the children, you find out that the gaps are really big.

“For example, the survey done in 2018 for Nigeria, we found out that the under fives mortality rate is actually stagnant in some of the states and worse in some other states.

“This is in spite of all the resources UNICEF, other development partners as well as Governments have been using in these States”, Kissea-Mkusa said.

Earlier in an opening remarks at the meeting, Mr Bhanu Pathak, the Chief of UNICEF Field Office Bauchi, said the field office is working in six States of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa Plateau and Taraba in the sectors of health and HIV, water and sanitation (WASH), nutrition, education, child protection and social inclusion as it relates to children.

Speaking at the meeting, the Deputy Governor of Adamawa, Chief Crowther Seth represented by a Permanent Secretary in his office, Alhaji Hamman Mayo, lauded the many interventions of UNICEF in the state and assured the fund of sustain support and collaboration from the government.

Seth noted that the intervention of UNICEF in improving primary healthcare centres in the 226 wards across the state to render 24 hours services to rural populace, was a development that said has transformed the healthcare delivery in the state.

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