UNICEF proclaims 44% to 30% decrease in child marriage and mortality rate in Kano

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), child marriage has decreased from 44% to 30% in Kano state since 2016.

Mr. Rahma Farah, Chief of UNICEF’s Kano field office, stated this at the launch of the 2021 Kano state Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 2021), that child mortality has decreased from 1 in 8 children dying before their fifth birthday (MICS 2016) to 1 in 10 children (MICS 2021).

Mr. Farah, who was represented by the UNICEF Senior Education Specialist, Mr. Michael Banda, stated that the state increased exclusive breastfeeding from 24% to 34%, and that nearly 60% of Nigerian children are now registered with civil authorities at birth, up from 47% in 2016.

He also stated that child mortality in Nigeria has decreased from 1 in 8 children dying before their fifth birthday (MICS 2016) to 1 in 10 children (MICS 2021).

In terms of education, approximately seven out of every ten children (68%) of the appropriate primary school age are attending school or higher, while approximately five out of every ten (50%) of the appropriate senior secondary school age are attending secondary school or higher.

UNICEF, on the other hand, stated that “there are pockets of deprivation that are worsening and require our urgent collective effort and response.”

“We must challenge the status quo and examine our actions and inactions, as well as the consequences on our collective development in Health, Nutrition, Education, Social Protection, WASH child protection, and other social sectors to be discussed in the presentations.”

“The data provided does not provide us with a causality analysis, but it does provide us with a general trend to weigh our performance over years,” Farah said. As a result, we must investigate the factors influencing our performance, whether positive or negative, and devise workable solutions to improve the various indices.”

He then charged the stakeholders with “identifying and addressing the root causes of poor performing indicators.” Qualitative research should supplement MICS results and provide us with a strong case for taking action.

Also speaking on the same vein, the Kano State Secretary to the Government (SSG), Alhaji Usman Alhaji, has tasked nutritionists with producing locally processed baby food as a supplement to breastfeeding for healthy growth and development.

“It is also good that there are representatives of different sectors of the society here, whose responsibility is to ensure that action is taken after the review, the figures should not gather dust, and the bureau of statistics should make data available to the public”

The secretary to the state government, explained that, the relevance of establishing four new emirate councils in Kano, cannot be over emphasized, as each emirate engage its citizens for health, education, nutrition, child and social protecting, empowerment, sanitation and other relevant indices to move the community forward.

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