Nigeria ranks low on child immunisation, makes progress in infant and child mortality

Nigeria ranks low on child immunisation, makes progress in infant and child mortality

- Nigeria has been ranked low on child immunisation according to a recently released survey

- Interestingly, the country made progress in infant and child mortality in the period under review

- The reports are contained in the National Demographic Health Survey 2019

This was disclosed by a United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, planning and research specialist, Mrs Maureen Zubie-Okolo.

Zubie Okolo made the disclosure at the opening of a two-day media dialogue for journalists on data-driven reporting and dissemination on Thursday, February 27 in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

”According to the National Demographic Health Survey 2019, only 31 per cent of children are immunised currently,” Zubie-Okolo stated.

“The percentage of children who received none of the basic vaccinations declined from 29% to 19% during the same period in review,” she added.

Nigeria ranks low on child immunisation, makes progress in infant and child mortality

Nigeria's minister of health, Dr Osagie Enahire and his team has a lot in their hands. Photo: FGN
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She, however, noted that Nigeria is progressing in infant and child mortality.

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According to her, the progressive decline in child mortality could be attributed to better health advocacy and good governance.

Her words: “The decline in the figure is as a result of hard to reach areas due to insurgency. Most women due to lack of education, do not readily know what to do to keep their children healthy and alive.

“The National Demographic Health Survey 2019 showed a great improvement in child health indices. The figure actually directs us. We have some improvements but the progress is actually poor and slow.”

On his part, the chief field officer of Port Harcourt field office, Mr Guy Yogo, said that Nigerian children are being left behind due to new issues.

He appealed to journalists at the dialogue to ensure that children’s rights are protected consistently through their reports.

In a message to the participants, the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the surveys have been instrumental in strengthening national statistics capacities, highlighting and filling gaps in quality data.

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He also noted that they have helped in monitoring and tracking progress towards national and international development goals like the SDGs and, in identifying emerging issues and disparities among groups in societies.

“Data must also be disseminated in a user- friendly way to ensure that they are understood and used. Data also informs policy decisions and enhance advocacy and public awareness on priority development issues,” Alhaji Mohammed stated.

The minister was represented at the event by the deputy director and head child rights information bureau, federal ministry of information and culture, Mr Olumide Osanyinpeju.

The media dialogue was organised by the ministry of information and culture in collaboration with UNICEF, is aimed at enlightening Nigerian media practitioners on how to enhance their reports using data.

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Meanwhile, Nigeria has been ranked in the bottom 10 for performance on child flourishing by a report released on Wednesday, February 19.

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The report was by a commission convened by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and The Lancet.

The ranking is based on factors including measures of child survival and well-being such as health, education, nutrition, equity and income gaps.

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