The United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) says it has commenced a programme aimed at promoting the health and protection of the rights of children in Toro Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
UNICEF tagged the programme “Child-Friendly Communities Initiative (CFCI)”.
Mr Bhanu Pathak, the UNICEF Chief Field Officer, in charge of Bauchi, disclosed this on Wednesday while addressing participants at a one-day inception meeting in Bauchi.
Pathak explained that the objective of the programme is to implement different child-friendly programmes at the grassroot level which will include education, health, nutrition and protection of the child right.
He said the programme is committed to bringing all services needed by children in a community, hence the resolve of the fund to begin the programme in Bauchi, adding that Toro and Zaki Local Government Areas have been selected for initiating the programme.
The field officer added that some of the lofty packages of the programme include the treatment of mothers, as it relates to health issues and sanitation, among others, stressing that the fund will in due time cover all the 20 local government areas of the state.
Pathak also assured that UNICEF would strengthen the capacities of all existing health facilities in benefitting communities for effective and efficient healthcare delivery in local communities.
He identified Toro and Zaki LGAs as some of the few local government areas he visited where children have been deprived of their rights and healthcare services need to be improved.
He, however, said that the programme would be based on counterpart funding.
“Both UNICEF and the state government would fund this initiative on a 50/50 basis,’’ he said.
He said after successful implementation of the programme in these two local government areas, the state government would replicate and maintain it across the state.
The state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Alhaji Aminu Gamawa, had earlier reiterated the commitment and determination of the state government in partnering with donor agencies for development in the state.
Gamawa said the government is willing and determined to actualise all its outlined development plans especially on issues of health, education, sanitation and promotion of the child right issues.
The meeting was attended by all relevant stakeholders including local government directors of water and sanitation as well as primary healthcare.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK