- UNICEF has warned that 950 children under the age of five could die every day
- The warning came as the organization noted that the coronavirus pandemic is threatening to weaken the health system
- UNICEF warns that the disruptions could result in increases in maternal and child deaths
UNICEF on Wednesday, May 13, warned that an additional 950 children in Nigeria could die every day from preventable causes as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts routine services and threatens to weaken the health system.
Legit.ng gathered that the organization noted that it would happen over the next six months, adding that 6,000 additional children under five globally could die every day.
This report was published in The Lancet Global Health journal based on an analysis by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The agency further expressed concerns and warned that these disruptions could result in potentially devastating increases in maternal and child deaths.
“Under a worst-case scenario, the global number of children dying before their fifth birthdays could increase for the first time in decades. We must not let mothers and children become collateral damage in the fight against the virus,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.
According to UNICEF's representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, progress has been made in reducing preventable child and maternal deaths in the country over the last 20 years.
However, he added that it would be devastating if all that progress is lost and shocking for families, communities and for Nigeria as a whole.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that UNICEF on Tuesday, May 5, warned that internally displaced children – including in Nigeria - are among the world’s most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The warning came as the organization released a report looking at the risks and challenges facing internally displaced children, and the urgent actions needed to protect them.
In northeast Nigeria, there are currently 1.9 million people displaced from their homes. Sixty per cent of them are children, with 1 in 4 under the age of five.
In a related development, members of the House of Representatives have called on the federal government to stop the repatriation of the almajiri children to their states of origin.
The lawmakers made the call when deliberating on a motion sponsored by a member of the House, Aishatu Dukku. Her petition was seconded by another legislator, Henry Archibong.
Dukku faulted the repatriation of almajiri children on the grounds that it was against the fundamental human rights of any Nigerian to reside in any part of the country.
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