UNICEF Chief Field Service Coordinator for Nigeria, Dr. Annefrida Kisesa-Mkusa, says a lot depends on Nigeria for the world to achieve it’s target on child survival.
Nigeria is key in meeting World Sustainable Development Goals target on child survival – UNICEF
She stated this during an interview with newsmen shortly after the opening ceremony of a two day end of year Review Meeting for Adamawa, Gombe, and Taraba States.
According to her, “if the issues of children in Nigeria are not solved, the world cannot achieve it’s target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) that relates to children”.
She stressed further that, ” actually, when you look at the children of the world, Nigeria accounts for about eleven percent of children. 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”.
She said, the review offers opportunity to know the real situation on ground adding that “when we do reviews like this, we say we have achieved a lot, but when the surveys are made 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 worst 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”.
She said, in the review meeting “we try to ask ourselves, what is not happening because something may not be going on according to plan, otherwise, we are spending a lot of human and financial resources but the results which we are achieving don’t seem too much compared to the resources otherwise, the surveys should be showing a big improvement”.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Bhanu Pathak, the chief of field office, Bauchi Field office of UNICEF, said the field office is working in six States of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa Plateau and Taraba States in the areas of health and HIV; water and sanitation (WASH); nutrition; education; child protection and social inclusion as it relates to children.