Posted by News Express | 25 November 2017 | 1,618 times
The United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) says states in the South-South geo-political zone still have major challenges in water coverage, sanitation, immunisation coverage, reducing malnutrition and stunted growth amongst children.
These challenges, according to the annual review meeting of the Rivers Field Office of UNICEF held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, are as a result of difficult terrain, inadequate budget by states and frequent industrial actions. Others include delay in the release of counterpart funding, lack of political will as other major restraints affecting UNICEF and its state partners from covering the states under review.
Mr Wilbroad Ngambi, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Rivers Field Office, said out of the states under the Rivers Field office, Akwa Ibom, has an alarming level of stunted growth for under five children as high as 29 per cent.
“I think the South-South still has the major challenges in water coverage, sanitation, immunisation coverage, reducing malnutrition and stunting.
“Some of the states like Akwa Ibom have stunted growth level for under five children as high as 29%. Out of every 100 children, 30 are stunted, that is they are shorter than they should be at their age.
“So we acknowledge that states has done a lot of work to improve the situation, there is a lot of work yet to be done both in nutrition, water and sanitation, even in maternal child health,” Ngama said.
Speaking further on the meeting, Ngambi, said: “The review is basically an annual meeting of the states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta coming together to take stock of what we have done together for women and children in the South-South of Nigeria for the year 2017.
“We have programmes for immunisation, nutrition, promotion of exclusive breast feeding for children, improving infants and young child feeding, addressing malnutrition and stunting.
“Then we have program for Water Sanitation and hygiene, where states has been able to support UNICEF to construct water and sanitation facilities for the four states. This is supposed to reach more than 150,000 people with safe water.”
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