The United Nations International Children’s Fund in collaboration with the Zamfara State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Lawal Gunmi have registered 69 Almajirai children for birth certificate after repatriated to the state due to COVID-19 pandemic.
This was disclosed by the World Body through its website on Monday, the 69 Almajirai children who had never heard about birth registration before, let alone seen a birth certificate, as COVID-19 turned out to be a blessing in disguise for them.
Many of these Almajirai children repatriated to their home states due to the COVID-19 pandemic and perceived health risks. Upon their arrival in Zamfara, the 69 children, 28 girls and 41 boys aged between 5 and 11 were received by the Zamfara State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development.
With technical support from UNICEF, their personal identification details were taken, after which they were brought to the Zamfara State COVID-19 isolation centre, in case of infection. Fortunately, all the returning children tested negative for COVID-19, as their births were registered for the first time ever, and they are now all proud owners of new birth certificates.
UNICEF’s Child Protection Specialist at the Sokoto Field Office in north-west Nigeria, Pius Uwamanua explained how the 69 children all got registered and received birth certificates that now give them a legal identity. “As soon as the important issue of determining their COVID-19 status was resolved, we turned to the next important thing, which was to find out whether their births were registered by the National Population Commission,” Uwamanua said.