423 Kaduna communities certified Open Defecation Free

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No fewer than 423 communities in Kaduna State have been certified Open Defecation Free (ODF) between January and June out of the 750 communities targeted for 2019.

Mr Zubairu Tanimu, Director Sanitation in the state Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, stated this at the 2019 mid-year Review and Planning Meeting, supported by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Kaduna.

Tanimu also said that 141,758 men, women, girls and boys have gained access to basic sanitation service in the affected communities as against the 275,000 people targeted for the year.

Similarly, 228,750 children and adolescents in UNICEF focused Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state had  been sensitised on the need to wash their hands before meals after using toilet or changing babies diapers.

“This is far above the 200,000 children and adolescents targeted by the end of 2019,” he added.

Mr Ahmed Bello, Planning Officer, Primary Health Care Development Agency, also said that 98 per cent of 0 to 59 months children were vaccinated with polio vaccines during campaigns as against 90 per cent targeted.

Bello also said that 60.3 per cent of children less than 12 months have received Penta 3 vaccine in the last six months as against 32 per cent targeted for the year.

“Also, 28.2 per cent of new-borns have received postnatal care within two days of birth, more than 50 per cent of the 55 per cent targeted for the year,” he said.

Mrs Faith Zakari, Acting State Coordinator, HIV and AIDS Programme, Ministry of Health, said that HIV and AIDs intervention has also witnessed reasonable progress within the last six months.

Zakari said that 60 per cent of UNICEF-supported LGAs currently have functional coordination platforms for prevention and treatment of HIV in women, children and adolescents.

She also said that 60 per cent of UNICEF-supported LGAs equally have community action platforms that promote uptake of HIV services by pregnant women, their infants, partners, families and adolescents.

“This is far above the 43 per cent targeted for the year.

“Similarly, community action platforms in UNICEF-supported LGAs in which the most vulnerable adolescents actively participated is now 30 per cent as against the 17 per cent targeted for 2019,” she said.

On nutrition, Mrs Chinwe Ezeife, Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna, equally said that reasonable progress has been recorded in nutrition interventions, with about 60 per cent of health facilities providing treatment for malnourished children.

Dr Zakari Adam, UNICEF Chief of Field Office, had earlier explained that the review meeting was organised to look at progress made against set targets, challenges, best practices and map the way forward.

Bilkisu Pai