The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, has proposed collaborative initiative and nationwide advocacy with various stakeholders towards reducing maternal and child deaths, and other health related issues.
The minister made the proposal on Friday during a media conference to mark school resumption of children across the country.
Tallen said the ministry intended to undertake national level advocacy meeting and sensitisation programmes with the Minister of Health and other relevant stakeholders.
“We will be embarking on advocacy meeting with Executive Governors, Legislators, health policy makers, traditional leaders, Civil Society Organisations on reduction of maternal and child mortality, breast feeding, girl child education.
“Others include all forms of violence against children such as ending child marriage, drug addiction, rape and online sexual exploitation, among others.
“The ministry also intends to mobilise communities to promote routine immunisation and advocacy activities aimed at educating and sensitising mothers and caregivers on boosting nutritional status of children,” Tallen said.
She said children constituted the foundation on which the future of nations were built, as such their early years of life had a profound impact on their future, health, development, learning and wellbeing.
Tallen said education was the major ingredient for self-actualisation and attainment of potentials of any child, saying it is a basic human rights recognised by the Child Rights Act.
She said by the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) of 2011 and 2017 conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics in collaboration with UNICEF and other partners, about 60 per cent of school age children were out of school.
According to her, the North-East with 53.3 per cent holds forth highest number of girls out of school of primary school age, while the South-East had the lowest number of girls out of school at 46.2 per cent.
Also States in the North-East and North-West had female primary net attendances rates of 47.7 and 47.3 per cent, respectively, indicating that half of the girls were not in school.
Tallen stressed that the girl child was often withdrawn from school for early marriage due to economic reasons as well as inability of parents to pay school fees, provide school uniforms, books, sandals and other hidden costs involved in the education of children.
She said the ministry would continue to focus on the girl-child education and mentoring in order to produce intellectuals and a healthy population, adding that collaboration with the Ministry of Education will be robustly strengthen.(NAN)
Edited by Angela Okisor/Muhammad Suleiman Tola