By Abdulwheed Usamah,
United Nations Children Education Funds (UNICEF) has declared that number of out of school children in Sokoto State, which was reported to be highest in the country, had declined from 69 per cent in 2015 to 37 in 2017.
The UN agency tied the development to effort of the state government in area of sensitization of parents and the need to educate children in the in Sokoto, the complaince which recorded the progression on the bdy table of out of school children beetween 2015 and 2017.
The outgoing Chief, Field Office, UNICEF’s Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states, Muhammad Muhuiddin, has revealed Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) for 2016-2017 showed that Sokoto made appreciable progress, resulting in over 50 percent cut in the number.
Addressing gathering at a reception organised by the Sokoto state government to honor the Chief after completion of his tour of duty, Muhuiddin said that the development was a huge recorded success of both of the state and the UNICEF and that commitments of stakeholders was helpful in achieving the progress from backwarness to the present state.
He added that the commitment shown by political leadership and technical teams set up by the state government to work with UNICEF and partners in various sectors for the children of Sokoto, was remarkable collaboration effort toward working on the rate of out of school children in the state.
“We have achieved significant changes in results, and I have to say, these changes are positive, and unique in Nigeria. It is always satisfying when you implement projects and see the results and the impact these results have made.
“Of special joy for me is the number of girls in schools at the moment. The other day, we inspected some projects in schools in Binji and in a class of 48 pupils, we saw 36 girls as against 12 boys. It was a good measure of the progress made and i urge you to sustain it,” he said.
Muhuiddin urged the government to do more especially in the area of routine immunisation, expressing that, plans put together would have positive impact in the next two to four years.
On his part, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, commended Muhuiddin for the commitment, passion and dexterity showed during his stay in the state, adding that, the people of the Sokoto would not forget his inflence on lives of children at various schools.
“We will miss you. To us, you are a friend and reliable partner who took his job of saving humanity with all the seriousness it deserves. The people and government of Sokoto state wish you success in your future assignment in Calcutta, India,” he added.
In another development, Sokoto state government director no fewer than 239 medical lab workers back to school to upgrade their knowledges and prepare them for professional licensing before been allowed to continue work under the state ministry of health.
Tambuwal, who spoke during visit of Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, to Sokoto on Tuesday, confirmed that the state had directed 239 lab workers, Ordinary National Diploma (OND) to undergo a year program at Sultan Abdulrahman School of Health Technology for knowledge and skill upgrade.
“We have sent 230 holders of Ordinary National Diploma (OND) who are presently working in our medical laboratories for a one year abridged program at the Sultan Abdulrahman School of Health Technology, Gwadabawa to update their knowledge and enable them write council examinations and become certified laboratory technicians.
“Our intention is not to remove any staff from our labs. We will give them the opportunity to certify themselves and meet the requirements of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria,” he added.
Aside, Tambuwal said that the state also took charge of National Blood Transfusion Centre in Sokoto and that its staff have been absorbed into the state civil service.
In addition to other measures, the governor disclosed that Sokoto had also established a biomedical engineering complex fully equipped with biomedical equipment, library, workshop, fabrication and maintenance unit.
“The Sokoto state laboratory quality management task team has been inaugurated and is charged with the responsibility of ensuring quality in laboratory services and avpod false results that may endanger lives,” he added.
n his remarks, the Minister of State said hinted that he was in Sokoto to flag off the nationwide inspection of medical lab science equipment.
He said that the inspection was important since medical lab science deals with clinical examination of patients hence the need to upgrade the service to tackle challenges for quality service delivery.