Immunization campaign in Nigeria mobilizes a nation for child survival, village by village
KANO STATE, Nigeria, 6 November 2013 – The man with the megaphone calls for mothers and fathers to bring their children for vaccinations. The message is a tinny monotone, repetitive, not unlike a call to prayer.
Trafficked into labour, a young girl tries to regain what she's lost
ABUJA, Nigeria, 13 August 2013 – Blessing’s story is short, and it has many holes, because she simply doesn’t remember much of her life – at least the part before she came to Lagos, West Africa’s biggest metropolis.
Counsellors teach mothers the benefits of locally grown foods
BENUE STATE, Nigeria, 9 August 2013 – Sometimes, a nut changes everything. In Nigeria, it might even make the difference between life and death. In a country of more than 11 million children under 5 years who are stunted – a condition that diminishes a child’s physical and intellectual development and puts its survival at risk – many parents are unaware that many of the foods at their fingertips can benefit their children.
Polio survivors strive for a polio-free Nigeria
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 6 August 2013 – Karima Usman is 38 years old. Today, she struggles to peddle her tricycle with her hands as she navigates the rain-lashed bylanes of Yamma-II ward of the Katsina Local Government Area (LGA) in this northern Nigerian state.
The community-led sanitation revolution in Nigeria
BENUE STATE, Nigeria, 5 August 2013 – Women and men, just in from the fields with hoes still in their hands, and barefoot children sit in the shade under a tree. Betty Torkwase Ikyaator asks them to make her a picture of their village in a layer of sand on the ground. With pebbles and coloured paper, they place their homes, the church, the rivers, the roads and other landmarks. They don’t mark a clinic, market or primary school because they don’t have those things here in Mbanumbekem village in rural Nigeria.
Community-based treatment for malnutrition earns praise in northern Nigeria
KIYAWE, Nigeria, 23 July 2013 – Nigeria’s rates of childhood stunting and wasting are among the highest in the world, particularly in the north, where the country reaches into the Sahel region. In many cases these conditions can be life threatening if not treated properly.
Integrating services to scale up birth registration in Nigeria
KADUNA, Nigeria, 15 July 2013 – Rose Wisdom rocks her baby girl back and forth. Mami is only two weeks old and appears uncomfortable with the heat and the bustle around her at the Hope for the Village Child Foundation Centre in Chikun, on the outskirts of Kaduna in northern Nigeria.
A humble Nigerian carpenter rethinks latrines
BENUE STATE, Nigeria, 3 July 2013 – Lately, Martin Dewaun Iyo’s humble carpentry business has seen a buzz of activity in what is normally a slow trade in cabinets and doors. Mr. Iyo has invented a new product – a ventilated drop-hole cover for the latrine.
Two drops for Mecca: Mother of polio-affected girl opens doors to vaccination
HAWAN DAKI, Nigeria, 8 May 2013 – Aisha may not be able to read, but she never forgets a name, or a child. "Where are Hassan, Hassana and the other kids?" Aisha asks the woman of the house as she stands in the doorway. Hassana is in, but Hassan is outside,” says their mother.
Nigeria battles a worsening malnutrition crisis
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 28 August 2012 - It’s 9 a.m., and already the soil is being scorched by the unforgiving sun. The landscape is bleached out with no shade. The only splash of color is provided by 10 yellow watering cans lined up neatly by the side of a muddy well. Next to them, Al Haji Yahaya and his young son are methodically filling them up with brown-coloured water from what is little more than a sandy hole.
Female teaching recruits are agents of change in rural Nigeria
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 1 August 2012- The first thing that strikes you is their sense of confidence. Women with faces framed by colorful headscarves hold dynamic discussions in a packed classroom at the Isa Kaita College of Education. They consider themselves to be “village girls” but there’s nothing ordinary about them.
Teaching the principles of good hygiene to school children
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 30 July 2012 – Nigeria has a vast coastline and river tributaries that irrigate the south, yet insufficient access to clean water contributes to millions of deaths every year. One in seven children will die in Nigeria before they reach the age of 5, many of them from waterborne illnesses.
Outpatient services save the lives of severely malnourished children in Nigeria
KATSINA, Nigeria, 20 July 2012 – The first rains have arrived in northern Nigeria. Tufts of guinea corn are peeking out from the soil. Farmers are optimistic that this year’s growing season will yield good results – yet hundreds of children are packed into a community clinic near Katsina, seeking treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
In Nigeria, the Polio Free Torch campaign aims to make the country polio-free
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, 5 April 2012 – “I want to call on our brothers and sisters… to lay down their arms and embrace peace and dialogue,” announced Kashim Shettima, the Governor of Borno State, at the state launch of the Polio Free Torch campaign in the city of Maiduguri.
UNICEF is raising funds to provide life-saving assistance to over 1 million at-risk children in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 2 April 2012 – As the hunger season begins in the Sahel region of Africa, UNICEF is launching a massive fund-raising campaign to help the more than 1 million children in danger of dying from severe acute malnutrition.
UNICEF races to prevent a major food crisis in the Sahel
NEW YORK, 24 February 2012 – UNICEF is racing to prevent a second major food crisis in Africa in less than a year.
In Lagos, Nigeria, marginalized children face exploitation, trafficking and abuse
LAGOS, Nigeria, 1 March 2012 – Sex and drugs are readily available on Kuramo Beach, a stretch of sand along the Gulf of Guinea. Children play in the sand, not far from sex workers. Nearby, tough young men known as ‘area boys’ sit under battered beach umbrellas.
Threat of malnutrition dire in Africa's Sahel region due to increasing food shortages
DAKAR, Senegal, 12 December 2011 – It’s not a tsunami or an earthquake – it is a predictable emergency. UNICEF estimates more than a million children under five will need to be treated in feeding centres for severe malnutrition in the Sahel region of Africa. It is a staggeringly high number, and there is little time to prepare.
World leaders join Bill Gates in $122 million pledge for polio eradication
PERTH, Australia, 31 October 2011 – World leaders from Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria and Pakistan joined Bill Gates on Saturday in pledging $122 million in new funds to help deliver a polio-free world.
On World Polio Day, UNICEF launches new website focusing on global immunization strategies
NEW YORK, USA, 24 October 2011 – Following a dramatic 95 per cent reduction in polio cases last year in Nigeria, the disease is once again on the rise – in large part because of lingering community resistance to polio immunization. To address this resistance, the country recently launched the Polio Free Torch Campaign. Supported by the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) and a number of Nigerian Olympians, the campaign aims to mobilize wide support for the polio eradication efforts currently being made in Nigeria.
A survivor of polio works to eradicate the disease for Nigeria's future generations
KANO, Nigeria, 4 August 2011 – Aminu Ahmad sits on the side of the road intently watching his young apprentice weld a wheelchair. “This is our workshop and 80 per cent of the people here have disabilities, but we are working hard, just like anybody else,” he explains.
UNICEF radio project gives voice to young Nigerians
LAGOS, Nigeria, 1 June 2011 – Disenfranchised children in Nigeria have been given a unique opportunity to exercise their right to expression through a UNICEF-supported youth radio project.
Community-led water and sanitation projects take root in Nigeria
CALABAR, Nigeria, 23 September 2010 – Esther Etowa’s lively face is quick to break into an engaging smile. Her deep voice can change from a comforting murmur into a boom that can be heard across the width and breadth of a village – a useful quality in Ms. Etowa’s work.
Cases of children accused of ‘witchcraft’ rising in parts of West and Central Africa
AKWA IBOM STATE, Nigeria, 28 July 2010 – One child is given a slice of mango and is asked to commit murder in return. Another admits to killing 800 people while flying with other witches on a piece of tree bark.
Chad and five other Central African countries pledge to end use of children in armed conflict
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 11 June 2010 – At a regional conference here this week, Chad and five other Central African nations signed a declaration on ending the use of child soldiers. In a recorded video address to the participants, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake offered fervent support for the move.
Text messages bolster world’s largest distribution of mosquito nets
World Malaria Day, 25 April, focuses this year on the challenge of achieving universal coverage with essential malaria-control interventions. Here is a story of progress and challenges in one malaria-endemic country, Nigeria.
Nigeria immunizes millions of children in a renewed effort to eradicate polio
LAGOS, Nigeria, 16 April 2010 – Nigeria recently joined 19 other countries in West and Central Africa in a synchronized campaign to immunize more than 85 million children under the age of five against polio.
African Union leaders and international experts launch campaign to combat human trafficking
ABUJA, Nigeria, 8 April 2010 – An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide each year for sexual exploitation and cheap labor. Child trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar industry that affects every country in the world – either as a source of trafficked children or a destination for them – and the global economic crisis has only exacerbated this grave violation of human rights.
UNICEF aims to immunize 85 million children against polio in West and Central Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 5 March 2010 – For children in West and Central Africa, the threat of the crippling disease polio, eradicated in much of the world, still looms.
Grant from the Government of Japan supports child survival in Nigeria
ABUJA, Nigeria, 19 August 2009 – UNICEF Nigeria has received 8.5 million dollars, from the Government of Japan, to support polio eradication, routine immunization and malaria prevention efforts.
Executive Director visits northern Nigeria and announces $1.85 million to address malnutrition
ABUJA, Nigeria, 3 August 2009 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, concluding a visit to the northern states of Kebbi and Sokoto in Nigeria, announced $1.85 million in additional support for UNICEF nutrition programmes.
Breastfeeding key to child survival, says UNICEF Executive Director in Nigeria
ABUJA, Nigeria, 31 July 2009 – As Nigeria joins the rest of the international community to commemorate World Breastfeeding Week, 1-7 August, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman is in Nigeria, highlighting the critical need for improvements in child health and nutrition.
UNICEF and partners bring hope to children accused of ‘witchcraft’ in Nigeria
ESI-EKET, Nigeria, 2 July 2009 – Paul, a young man whose father heads a school, has been living at the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) centre in Esi-Eket for about two years now. His father visits him at the centre occasionally but is not willing to take him home due to the stigma associated with ‘child witches’.
Teaming up to fight polio with Niger and Nigeria's synchronized immunization
MARADI, Niger, 5 June 2009 – Aboubacar Sidikou used to be an active two-year-old, running after goats in the courtyard or playing hide-and-seek all day long with his brothers. Now, the once enthusiastic boy has now become very shy. He rests in the arms of his grandmother and suddenly does not pay attention to anyone anymore.
Partnering to roll back malaria in Nigeria's Bauchi State
BAUCHI, Nigeria, 22 April 2009 – In Nigeria, malaria caues the deaths of an estimated 300,000 children under the age of five die every year. On any given afternoon, the waiting halls at the Specialist Hospital – the biggest in Bauchi State – have been full of patients since early morning. If any of these children have acute malaria, they may die in 24 hours without prompt access to effective treatment.
Nigeria leads campaign to vaccinate 53 million children against polio
OGUN, Nigeria, 30 March 2009 – In the village of Madoga, trained community health workers from Nigeria and Benin Republic work together to reach all the children in the community. They are part of a mass campaign synchronised between eight West African countries that has aimed to reach more than 50 million children with the polio vaccine over the last four days.
Young people lead the way for AIDS education in Nigeria
KADUNA STATE, Nigeria, 30 Dec 2008 — At the end of the rainy season, Agunu-Dutse village is lush and beautiful. However, the area is poor and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is high.
Nigerian First Lady Hajia Turai Yar'Adua supports maternal and newborn health with 'Mama Kits'
ABUJA, Nigeria, 4 December 2008 – Nigerian First Lady Hajia Turai Yar'Adua has pledged her commitment to maternal mortality reduction in Nigeria.
Improving community sanitation in Uchi, Nigeria
UCHI, Nigeria, 12 November 2008 – UNICEF Representative in Nigeria Dr. Suomi Sakai and other UNICEF staff recently visited Uchi Community Primary School, located in Benue State, and toured the school’s improved water and sanitation facilites.
Birth registration campaign protects Nigerian children's rights
KANO, Nigeria, 9 September 2008 – In the ancient town of Dawakin Kudu, in Kano State, northwest Nigeria, Aisha Sanusi, 13, proudly displays the certificate she recently acquired through a state-wide, door-to-door exercise in birth registration. Her brother, Nura Sanusi, 15, is also proud of his newly issued birth-registration certificate.
A Nigerian father shows his support for his wife’s breastfeeding
ABUJA, Nigeria, 12 August 2008 - He stuck out like a sore thumb amidst the more than three hundred women cradling their babies at the annual baby show.
Goodwill Ambassador Kanu Nwankwo promotes ‘Football for Hope’ in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, Nigeria, 6 August 2008 – In the township of Agege, hundreds of excited children gathered to meet Nigerian football star and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Nwankwo Kanu. Nwankwo’s appearance marked the end of the first phase of ‘Project Excel’ – a joint venture of FIFA’s ‘Football for Hope’, Search and Groom Youth Development Centre and UNICEF.
Nigerian youth volunteers fight AIDS with knowledge
ABUJA, Nigeria, 4 August 2008 – Nigeria's youth are leading the call in the fight against HIV/AIDS, using knowledge as their weapon in classrooms and on the streets.
Equal access to sanitation for those living with disabilities in Nigeria
BUNGUDU, Nigeria, 15 July 2008 – Nafisa Salisu, 16, whose legs were deformed by polio, manoeuvred her wheelchair into the specially designed Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrine for physically challenged pupils at Bungudu Primary School.
Japan donates more than $8 million for child survival programmes in Nigeria
ABUJA, Nigeria, 23 June 2008 – On Friday, 20 June, the Government of Japan donated $8.04 million to UNICEF for child survival programmes in Nigeria. The grant is for polio eradication, routine immunization and malaria prevention.
First Lady of Nigeria launches the country’s Girls’ Education Initiative
ABUJA, Nigeria, 21 April, 2008 – Last month, the First Lady of Nigeria, Turai Yar'Adua, launched the Girl’s Education Initiative in the state of Bauchi, where she made a full commitment to supporting girls’ education.
A new strategy to improve primary health care in Garaku, Nigeria
GARAKU, Nigeria, 12 February 2008 – It is an overcast Wednesday afternoon in the town of Garaku in north-central Nigeria. Rita Jiriko, 23, dressed in a colourful blouse, patiently waits her turn on the veranda of the Garaku Primary Health Care Clinic. As she gently rocks the younger of her two children to sleep, she recalls an earlier visit to the health centre.
Digital Diary: Nigerian street children tell their stories of life without security
NEW YORK, USA, 26 December 2007 – Isaiah has spent 5 of his 15 years living on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria, the second largest city in Africa. He spends his days and nights in this sprawling metropolis trying to fend for himself.
Community dialogue sessions advance bird flu education in Nigeria
OGUN, Nigeria, 26 October 2007 – Adefolu Olusoji is a retired civil servant and a poultry farmer in the sprawling slum community of Mowe. He was also among over 30 community members who participated in a recent open dialogue on avian influenza held at the Palace of Baale in southwest Nigeria.
‘Idols West Africa’ join the global AIDS campaign
ABUJA, Nigeria, 31 May 2007 – Timi and Omawumi, the two ‘Idols West Africa’ finalists of the current season, are not smiling. Their faces are serious and even sad, symbolizing the gravity of what they are doing – filming a special public service announcement about the effects of HIV/AIDS on children in the region.
Polio immunization drive reaches children in Koranic schools of northern Nigeria
ZARIA, Nigeria, 23 April 2007 – Every Saturday, Asiya, 5, helps her mother with household chores. After sweeping floors and washing clothes, she leaves home to attend Koranic school in her neighbourhood.
Girls’ Education Project focuses on getting students back to school in Nigeria
BAKORI, Nigeria, 11 April 2007 – Full of energy, pupils run in circles on the playground of Nadabo Primary School in the small town of Bakori, northern Nigeria. They are having fun in gymnastics class, where the female teacher has them exercising.
Awareness campaign protects women and children against bird flu in Nigeria
LAGOS, Nigeria, 30 March 2007 – After walking through the narrow paths – among stalls of vegetables, fish and meat, and dazed by the loud noise of a pepper-grinding machine – customers come to the poultry section of the bustling Ikotun market in Lagos.
Literacy empowers women and girls in Northern Nigeria
BABBAN KUFAI, Nigeria, 20 March 2007 – It’s a quiet Sunday in the Muslim community of Katsina, a northern state in Nigeria. While students at the local primary school enjoy their day off, more than 80 women are crammed inside one classroom, busy learning how to read and write, many for the first time in their lives.
UNICEF Nigeria helps local radio producers raise bird flu awareness
BENIN, Nigeria, 12 March 2007 – Local radio has become the latest weapon in the battle against the spread of avian influenza in Nigeria.
Children take the lead in northern Nigeria’s immunization drive
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 5 March 2007 – Heading to school last week in northern Katsina State, Imrana Musa, 10, had no idea what a special mission he was going to be sent on.
Fight against polio in Nigeria focuses on community involvement
ILELA, Nigeria, 26 February 2007 – Though wrinkled and bent with age, Kabo Galdi has hands that are surprisingly steady as she drops oral polio vaccine into the mouths of children. The grandmother of six was one of the roving vaccinators mobilized for Nigeria’s ‘Immunization Plus Days’ last month.
Global Task Force aims to provide all children with safe water and sanitation
NEW YORK, USA, 22 January 2007 – Cherie Blair met youth delegates from India and Nigeria at UNICEF headquarters today to help start a global initiative to ensure that children everywhere have access to safe water and sanitation.
Lagos corporate football teams help fight AIDS
LAGOS, Nigeria, 12 December 2006 – The hot sun beat down on the sandy pitch at Lekki British International School in Lagos as 10 football players struggled for the ball.
Pre-school classes boost girls’ enrolment in northern Nigeria
KAZAURE, Nigeria, 24 November 2006 – Enrolment of girls in early childhood development (ECD) classes is booming in areas of northern Nigeria, where local government authorities, assisted by UNICEF, are using multiple strategies to get more girls into pre-school.
Measles immunization campaign targets 29 million Nigerian children
EKEREMOR, Nigeria, 18 October 2006 – Nigeria has launched a massive immunization campaign to protect 29 million children against measles, a highly contagious virus that kills more Nigerian children than any other preventable disease.
Japan donates $16 million to help prevent childhood diseases in four African nations
NEW YORK, USA, 4 August 2006 – The Government of Japan has announced a nearly $16 million donation to UNICEF, to help reduce child mortality and achieve Millennium Development Goals in four African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sudan.
West and Central African nations join forces to end child trafficking
ABUJA, Nigeria, 7 July 2006 – A multilateral accord against the trafficking of women and children was signed here yesterday, as UNICEF and its partners spearheaded a joint ministerial conference of 26 West and Central African countries, representatives of European governments, the International Labour Organization and the UN Office against Drugs and Crime.
AIDS issues at the forefront of National Children’s Day in Nigeria
ABUJA, Nigeria, 31 May 2006 – The global campaign against child AIDS received a huge boost in Nigeria last week as the country celebrated National Children’s Day and its theme, ‘Children and HIV/AIDS: Addressing the Challenges’.
By land and sea, vaccinators reach 40 million in Nigerian polio immunization drive
LAGOS, Nigeria, 21 March, 2006 – Nigeria is the last polio-endemic country in Africa, with the world’s highest number of reported cases in 2005. Now the National Programme on Immunization (NPI), supported by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and other partners, aims to immunize every child in Nigeria against polio.
Nigeria completes Africa’s largest-ever measles campaign
NEW YORK, USA, 14 December 2005 – The Government of Nigeria has just completed Africa’s largest-ever measles campaign in an effort to reduce measles deaths and morbidity.
Calling attention to the impact of HIV/AIDS on the African family at the 14th ICASA Conference
ABUJA, Nigeria, 8 December 2005 – “We are living daily with death staring us in our eyes.” With these words Elisha Cliff Ishaku, who has been living with HIV for six years, brought a chilling twist of reality to ICASA, the 14th International Conference on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa – and Africa’s leading forum for discussion about HIV/AIDS issues.
Mother-to-child HIV transmission can be reduced by over 90 per cent
ABUJA, Nigeria, 5 December 2005 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah joined a panel of representatives from governments, civil society and other UN agencies in Abuja ahead of this week’s 14th International Conference on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA). The group called for programmes which help prevent transmission of HIV between mother and child to be made more accessible.
New EU donation will help provide safe water for 2.1 million people
ABUJA, Nigeria, 9 September 2005 – A new donation of €33.3 million (about $41.4 million) from the European Commission for a UNICEF water and sanitation project will help provide safe drinking water for 2.1 million people across 1,400 rural communities in Nigeria.
Football star Nwankwo Kanu appointed UNICEF Nigeria Goodwill Ambassador
ABUJA, Nigeria, 5 July 2005 - Nigerian football superstar Nwankwo Kanu was recently appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Nigeria. At a ceremony held in Abuja, the capital, Mr. Kanu met the press and signed a two-year contract with UNICEF.
Nigeria’s polio immunisation campaign takes off
LAGOS, Nigeria, 18 April 2005 – Nigeria has just completed the second round of its Polio National Immunisation Days for 2005. For the first time ever, vaccination teams were dispatched to the Lagos Murtala Muhammed International and Domestic airports in an effort to immunise children under five against polio. Nigeria hopes to reach 40 million children in this latest vaccination campaign.
Nigerian officials rescue more than 100 children from child traffickers
LAGOS, Nigeria, 9 March 2005 - Law enforcement officials in Nigeria are fighting back against child traffickers, as new laws and a more aggressive awareness campaign take effect.
Polio drive seeks to vaccinate 100 million children in Africa
As part of a massive polio immunization drive across Africa, more than a million health workers will be travelling, by land, sea and air, house to house through 22 countries, to vaccinate roughly 100 million children.
The driving forces behind Nigeria’s fight against polio
KANO, 20 November 2004 - Hauwa Abubakar is 25 years old and a mother of three children. She lives with her family in Kano, Northern Nigeria. On a Saturday Hauwa leaves her home early in the morning. Her destination today is the Bamali Nuhu Medical Center and Hospital.
Vital second round of anti-polio immunizations begins in Africa’s largest ever health campaign
NEW YORK, 18 November 2004 – A massive cross-border campaign to immunize children against polio is starting this week in Africa. From 20 to 23 November, thousands of volunteers and health workers will go door-to-door in 24 African countries to administer a second round of vaccinations in Africa’s largest ever public health initiative.
Kano’s 4.2 million children protected from polio
KANO, 3 August 2004 – The skies are clear and the morning sun is shining as the UNICEF team prepares for the long-awaited re-launch of polio immunization in Kano, Nigeria’s most populous state. After a one-year ban on immunization, the first drops of the vital polio vaccine will be administered to a child during a launch ceremony in Takai, 80 km from Kano city.