By Ishaq Zaki
Nahuche (Zamfara), Oct. 1, 2020 Zamfara Government has pledged to revive its health and demographic surveillance centre (HDSS), located in Nahuche town, Bungudu Local Government Area.
The State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibo, announced this when he led a government team on a visit to the centre on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the team comprised of government officials, members of the NGOs, CSOs, media practitioners and academia.
The visit was organised by the State Government’s Technical Working Group (TWG) on Social Protection in collaboration with Zamfara Social Protection Platform, an NGO, to mark the nation’s 60th Independent anniversary.
Jibo said the centre was one its kind in the whole Northern Nigeria, which served as a strong source of health and demographic data, not only for Nigeria but to the international community.
“We have seen what is here, we are going to make this centre functional again as we are determined to provide all necessary support for it to continue functioning like before,’’ the commissioner said.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Kabiru Gayari said that the centre was established by the state government in 2010, in collaboration with the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto.
It is meant to serve as a research system for demographic and health data to various research institutions within and outside the country.
Gayari, who is the Chairman, State TWG on social protection, said the centre, which is being run under the state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning with the support from partner and other MDAs, has 101 publications.
“Data collection on births, deaths, migration events, pregnancies, marriages and marriage termination events are routinely conducted by this centre.
“Verbal autopsy data are collected on all deaths reported during routine data collection.
“Annual update data on antenatal care and household characteristics are also collected.
“Therefore, opportunities for collaborations are available at this centre,’’ Gayari explained.
According to him, the centre needs additional technical staff and mobility to work more effectively.
“We are making efforts to secure approval for recruitment of 22 technical staff as well as procurement of motorcycles and an 18 seater bus to ease mobility of data collectors and researchers.
“We have confidence that the present administration in the state has the political will to make this centre more effective,’’ he explained.
Earlier, the Chairman, Zamfara Social Protection Platform, Malam Nasiru Biyabiki commended the state government for approving social protection policy.
Biyabiki said the visit was in line with the social protection activities.