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Child mortality cases significantly high in Etiki, Ogun, Oyo – MICS

Caring for children’s personal health

A recent assessment of the 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS-6) which was conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics supported by United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF under South-west states has rated Etiki, Ogun and Oyo high in neonatal, infant and under-5 death in child mortality per birth in their statistics.

The UNICEF stated this at a two-day media dialogue at Ibadan on Thursday 13th October, 2022 organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Lagos State Directorate, in conjunction with the Fund, tagged: “2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS-6) for Journalists in South-West Zone.”

Experts advised that Ekiti, Ogun and Oyo states to adopt necessary strategies and strengthen their health system towards reducing high rate of child mortality.

Following the report, speaking on the overview Oluwasola Olanipekun, UNICEF M4R Specialist said the MICS-6 under South-west states assessment covered Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Lagos and Etiki State adding that three and four children out of 10 die within one month of delivery in these states.

According to him, “In South-west, infant mortality out of 63 per 1000 live birth, Lagos has 15, Osun 17 and Ondo 31 while Oyo (40), Ogun (68) and Etiki (67) which records high.

For Neonatal birth out of 34 per 1000 birth, Lagos has (11), Osun (12), Ondo (18), Oyo (31), Ogun (56) and Etiki (53).

“Also Under -5 mortality out of 102 per 1000 death, Lagos recorded better with 15, Osun (17), Ondo (31), Oyo (40), Etiki (67) and Ogun (68),” he said.

Therefore, MICS-6 implications across South-West region, affirmed that 21 per cent of children in the region were delivered outside health facilities, which he said, contributed to child mortality.

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“Though, governments of these states have introduced various meaningful health programmes, much more still needed to be done to save the lives of new born babies and there is a need for affected states to adopt the national recommendations of one primary healthcare facility per ward and make them functional,” said Ijeoma Agbo, Health Specialist, UNICEF.

Agbo tasked governments of affected states to adopt all necessary strategies to strengthen their health system towards reducing the high rate of infant and child mortality however, called for improved awareness for expectant mothers to patronise health care facilities rather than unskilled deliveries which is a major factor responsible for the high mortality rate.

“Though, Lagos State has the lowest rate of child mortality, there is need for more improvement, considering high population,” she urged.

Speaking on the impact of the workshop, Blessing Ejiofor, Communication Officer, UNICEF, said the objective of the workshop is to share with the media the result of most recent survey which would assist them to report and analyse the situation of children and women in South-West Nigeria in an informed and accurate way on child rights issues with a view to convincing the public and trigger actions to bridge existing gaps.

“We expect the journalists to work on data driven stories and reports that highlight challenges faced by, and other opportunities available to children in Nigeria,” she added.