A new report by the United Nations Children Fund has placed Nigeria in the 11th position in global ranking where newborn babies die due to lack of assistance during delivery, poverty, conflict and weak institutions.
The organisation in the report obtained by THE PUNCH in Jos on Tuesday, said that, although, the situation in Nigeria is improving, the progress rate should be increased if the country must attain the Sustainable Development Goals.
The report said, “Eight of the 10 most dangerous places (where babies are) to be born are in sub-Saharan Africa, where pregnant women are much less likely to receive assistance during delivery due to poverty, conflict and weak institutions.
“With the newborn mortality rate of 29 deaths per 1,000 births, the global estimates rank Nigeria as the 11th highest on newborn deaths.
“In the recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey – MICS, conducted by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2016/17, the rate of newborn deaths per 1000 births is 37. This national average hides the differences between the 36 states and the slow progress in some of them.”
The report came barely one month after an alarming revelation by UNICEF Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Maureen Zubie-Okolo, during a recent two-day media dialogue on data-driven reporting using MICS held in Enugu that, “Nigeria has one of the highest childhood mortalities in the world.”
The Enugu event was organised by the Child Rights Act Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in collaboration with UNICEF.
The UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Mohammed Fall, in his reaction to the report, said many children in Nigeria were being deprived of adequate health care. Punch