UNICEF Urges Bauchi Traditional Leaders To Sensitise Households On Children’s Education, Health, Nutrition

UNICEF County Representative Ms Cristian Munduate and the Emir of Bauchi Alhaji Rilwanu Sulaiman Adamu. Photo: Murtala Muhammad

By Murtala Muhammad

The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF says the role of traditional leaders in complementing government’s effort of reducing maternal and child mortality rate in Bauchi is critical to addressing the poor health indices in the state.

It called on them to facilitate massive enrollment of children in schools especially the girl-child, with a view to sustaining the gains recorded in the implementation of GEP-3 project in selected beneficiary states across the country.

The UNICEF County Representative in Nigeria, Ms Cristian Munduate made the call at an interactive meeting with traditional leaders from the six Emirates of the state held at Bauchi Emir’s palace.

Ms Cristian Munduate appreciated the sacrifices made by the traditional institutions in the health sector through the Emirate Councils Committee on Health under the leadership of the Emir of Dass, Usman Bilyaminu Othman with approval of the State Chairman Council of Emirs and Chiefs Dr Rilwanu Sulaiman Adamu.

She emphasized the need for the traditional leaders to do more in sensitizing women to embrace hospital delivery, exclusive breastfeeding of babies in the first six months of their lives and complete immunisation to guarantee their well-being.

These according to the UNICEF Country Representative would help mitigate the rate of maternal and child mortality as well as prevent acute malnutrition.

On Education, Ms Munduate stated that the success recorded during the GEP-3 project was dependent on the commitment of traditional leaders and called on government to ensure equitable distribution of qualified teachers to all schools across the state.

Bauchi State ommissioner for Education Jamila Dahiru.
UNICEF entourage during the meeting. Photo: Murtala Muhammad

In separate Contributions, District Heads across the six Emirates unanimously expressed concern over the number of children hawking on streets, markets and other public places, calling on the government to enforce the law that criminalised non-enrollment of school aged children by parents.

The State Chairman Council of Emirs and Emir of Bauchi Dr Rilwanu Sulaiman Adamu said although the state government was making a lot of effort in the education and health sectors, there is need for effort to address the problems highlighted.

On his part, the Emir of Dass and Chairman Bauchi State Emirate Councils Committee on Health, BASECCOH Alhaji Usman Bilyaminu Othman who commended UNICEF for its numerous interventions in the education and health sectors, pledged sustained support and cooperation to achieve the desired outcome.

Also Speaking, the Commissioners of Education and Health Dr Jamila Dahiru and Dr Sabi’u Gwalabe highlighted some of the strength and weaknesses of their respective ministries and areas that need improvement.

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