Nigeria Records 3,215 under 5 deaths
Chima Azubuike, Gombe
National Population Commission has said Nigeria has no fewer than 3,215 under 5 related deaths from 2013 to 2018, adding that the Northern part of Nigeria contributes over 80 percent.
According to a text of the chairman of the Commission Nasir Kwarra, which was delivered by the Honourable Federal Commissioner Abubakar Danburam, ‘there must be a purposeful interventions and programmes from all concerned’.
Kwarra said the data was generated by interviewing caregivers of the deceased children so as to obtain cause of death, noting that from the study, the government and stakeholders will understand that beyond the medical causes of under- five deaths, there are socio-cultural factors that also affect neonatal, infant and child mortality in Nigeria.
He revealed this on Tuesday during the North East zonal dissemination of 2019 Verbal And Social Autopsy (VASA) in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health, USAID and Coordinating Implementation Research to Communicate and Evidence (CIRCLE).
Kwarra said, “The 2019 VASA edition was a follow up to the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), from which one randomly selected death from 2013 to 2018 were sampled and a total of 3,215 under -5 mortality cases were selected out of which 31 percent (974) neonates while 69 percent (2,241) are children spread across the country.
“The regional spread of the occurrence of death during the period under review were; (614) 20 percent of the total deaths were in the Southern part of the country while (2,601) 80 percent occurred n the North.
“The menace of under- five mortality cannot be wished away; indeed, there has to be purposeful interventions and programmes from all concerned to reduce under five mortality in Nigeria.
“The conduct of the 2019 VASA survey marks another major step by the National Population Commission to respond to the national imperative of providing adequate and relevant data for national planning, particularly in the health sector. There are socio-cultural factors that also affect neonatal, infant and child mortality in Nigeria.
Also speaking Dr. Michael Kunnuji, Senior Lecturer, University of Lagos, and Lead Qualitative Researcher, CIRCLE project, in his interaction with journalists called on government at all levels to provide ambulatory services to eliminate increasing rate of under five deaths.
He said, “Government must look into certain areas such as providing efficient ambulance services in rural areas where children will be moved to facilities where medical care will be provided. This is because transportation is a factor for the increasing rate.”