The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commended Niger State Government for its progress in the administration of Pentavalent (Penta3) vaccine for children in the State.
Chief of Office, UNICEF, Kaduna, Mr Donald Burgess, gave the commendation at the sensitisation of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2021.
It is organised by the Niger State Planning Commission in collaboration with UNICEF.
The Tide’s source reports that MICS 2021 report shows that more than 40 per cent of residents of Niger were practicing open defecation.
Burgess, who spoke through the Health Specialist, UNICEF, Kaduna Field Office, Mr Idris Baba, said Niger did well as the Penta3 vaccination rose from 20 per cent in 2016 to 39.4 per cent in 2021.
He said maternal and child mortality had reduced considerably and was far below the national average child mortality at 18 per cent per 1,000 life birth while that of the national was at 42 per cent.
Burgess added that the neo-natal mortality in the state was 20 per cent per 1,000 life birth while that of the nation was at 34 per cent.
He, however, urged the State Government to put more effort in the enrollment of out of school children especially the girl-child education which had drastically declined in the state.
He noted that educating the girl-child would help reduce maternal and child health issues as more women would be educated on their rights.
Earlier, Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State, expressed concerns that the State was lacking on enrollment of out-of-school children, especially the girl-child education as well as on practices of open defecation among residents.
Bello, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to come up with policies and programmes to achieve better results, pledging government’s full support.
Niger State Commissioner and Deputy Chairman of Ministry for Planning Commission, Alhaji Abubakar Zakari, in his address, said the event was to brief Government on data regarding the situation of women and children in the state.
According to him, data is key to planning and policy development.