United State Agency for International Development (USAID) and other international donor agencies have been urged to collaborate with stakeholders in order to achieve the desired objectives of alleviating high rate of infant mortality and sufferings of orphans and vulnerable people in Bauchi State.
The call was made by the Bauchi State First Lady, Aisha Bala Mohammed while receiving a delegation from the USAID, Pro-Health International, and Society for Family Health, on a courtesy visit to her office on Wednesday.
Aisha Bala further stated that most of the people of Bauchi State are in dire need of health services considering the level of poverty and lack of awareness among them, especially those in the rural communities maintaining that, these problems are the major causes of diseases resulting to high rate of infant mortality in the North East region as indicated by surveys by UNICEF and other relevant bodies.
She, however, expressed delight that Bauchi State is selected to benefit from the five years grants of integrated Child Health and Social Services to Orphans and Vulnerable Children and their caregivers and also confirmed that the program will complement government’s effort in that direction assuring of her support and commitments to the program.
Leader of the delegation, Tessie Philips Onenye said that recently, USAID signed two important articles of collaboration in Bauchi State with two local Nigerian organisations to do a specific work in Bauchi saying that, “they are the implementing partner while we are the funding partners and the primary partner is the government of Bauchi State”,
She also said that “the awards are for Adamawa and Bauchi States targeting children that are HIV Positive, adults, highly vulnerable children who are contracting the virus, through sexual violence, children working in households, or without adequate formation, adding that these are the children going to be enrolled in the program.
Dr Abiye Kalaiwo, Key Populations, USAID, during the visit said they are in Bauchi to reaffirm the US government and commitment to help in developing the state and bring succour to the people, saying that the program is basically to help vulnerable children and help reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among people in the state for providing antiretroviral for positives while providing information and commodities for negative people to stay negative.
Dr Iko Ibanga, Pro-Health International emphasised the need for all to take a cue from the effort made by USAID and urged to maintain the spirit for the sustenance of such health activities and also applauded the state government for improving Bauchi State Orphans and Vulnerable Children Agency, (BASOVCA)
Chairperson of Bauchi State Orphans and Vulnerable Children Agency, Hassana Arkila in her remarks said that only Bauchi State workers dedicate 1% of their salary to help the orphans and vulnerable people while 2% from political office holders expressing delight that only Bauchi state has done that across the federation, and also commended Bauchi First Lady for receiving the delegation despite the short notice.