As part of efforts to improve data management in order to tackle any forms of malnutrition, especially among children, the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) on Monday donated information and communication technologies gadgets to nutritional officers across the 23 local government areas of the Sokoto.
Speaking while presenting the items to the beneficiaries, the UNICEF chief field officer in the state, Maryam Zaid, said the recent SMART survey in conjunction with National Bureau of Statistics was conducted in three Northwest States of Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara States.
“We further supported a joint Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Malnutrition (AMN) Analysis workshop for the Northeast (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe) and Northwest (Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara) States with stakeholders from relevant line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Implementing Partners in August 2023.
“The findings from the SMART survey and IPC report developed show the magnitude of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and other integrated Health and WASH indicators especially for children in the State.
” I urge you all to embrace the findings of the Survey and IPC report, and to reflect on key areas we can scale up or improve on to achieve more results for children through resource allocations, technical support, and integrated programme implementation.
“As we are all aware, generation of timely and reliable data is crucial in assessing how we are performing, what we need to improve on, and how we use the scarce resources available to us to achieve results. While surveys and other studies and assessments provide us with population coverage data/information, routine databases, or systems from interventions and programmes implemented primarily through health Facilities and Communities in the State help us to track performance, identify gaps and provide integrated solutions aimed at addressing those gaps and improving performance”.
She also called for further strengthening data collation, documentation and use in the State beyond capacity building of staff in the LGAs and State. “UNICEF has procured Laptops and some related ICT accessories (27 Laptops, backpacks, Power Banks, External Hard Disk Drives, Antivirus and MS Office software) for the State and all 23 LGA level Nutrition Units”
” I wish to express our kind appreciation to United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) for their continuous financial support through UNICEF for integrated Nutrition programming in Sokoto State, including the procurement of the Laptops and related accessories to be donated to the State and all 23 LGA Nutrition Offices”
She also commends the State Government through the Sokoto State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SSPHCDA), for providing the enabling environment and financial support to the various integrated programmes targeting the vulnerable population in the State.
She, however, reiterated UNICEF’s commitment and support in ensuring that no child is left behind in its collective efforts to ensure children grow and develop to their full potential through adequate health and nutrition programmes, improved data and information management in the State.
Speaking in his remarks, the Special Adviser to the governor on Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Muhammad Bello, assured that the current administration in the state is already working towards changing the narrative.
He identified lack of proper funding as well as insecurity as part of the reasons for high level of malnutrition in the state, which he assured that the Ahmed Aliyu administration is ready to tackle upfront.
He further called on the beneficiaries of the gadgets to ensure all ICT equipment given to them was put to judicious use by getting accurate data which will help the state in their decision-making.
He said, “we need to have proper record so as to measure the level of improvement. If we fall to do the right things, all our International donor agencies will be discouraged”
Other speakers at the event which was held at Dankani Guest Inn, Sokoto on Monday include the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Budget and Planning, Arzika Bodinga, who assured that nutrition will take a much improved allocation in the 2024 budget allocation.
READ ALSO FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE