UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Sokoto Mohammad Mohiuddin has expressed concern that the north western states of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states recorded only five percentage total immunization coverage against the National average of 30 percent. Mohiuddin who has also noted that the high number of out of school children in the region, identified low demands for services by parents and community as major factor responsible for low social indicators in the affected states. The UNICEF Chief has noted that Government and development partners are providing the schools, clinics, other facilities and relevant materials but the people are not going for the services which are free. They are not seeing the benefit, adding that “The statistics is low in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara despite the time and resources, progress is very slow, the main challenge is from the community side. The schools are there but parents are not giving priority to sending their children to school, the girls are hawking and the boys. Mohiuddin has identified misconception, taboo and cultural beliefs as among reasons why some people do not access such services. He however pointed out that the media as well as the traditional and religious institutions are crucial to make the change. Speaking on planned engagement with them on health, nutrition, education and other areas, he has reiterated that media and traditional/religious institutions have huge, important and critical roles to make this scenario change. He has noted that if all health, education, nutrition and other services are adequately utilized, the indicators would improve.

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