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How data driven reporting will reduce child, maternal deaths, boost vaccination, by UNICEF

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UNICEF

The United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has iterated the need for all journalists to acquire data and evidence-based development reporting skills, expressing higher expectations as infant and under-five mortalities reduced in Nigeria.

The UNICEF Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) Specialist, Mr. Adeniyi Olaleye, said this Tuesday at the opening of a two-day media workshop on data driven reporting in Ibadan, Oyo State, reviewing situation of children and women in South West states based on Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) data in the last ten years.

Olaleye stressed that data is key to policy making, planning and evaluation functions, using several data collection methods, direct observation, data collection tools and other technical measures.

Quoting recent MICS report 2016-2017, he disclosed that Nigeria has recorded the lowest infant mortality rate in 17 years with 69.8 deaths per 1000 births, much lower than it was recorded in 2011. Both infant and under-five mortalities have 27 per cent reduction in six years.

The report, however, showed vaccination for children in South West region is the lowest ebb and 69 per cent use either shared and unimproved latrines and or still practise open defecation. Though the use of improved sanitation in the zone is lower than the national average, which is 36 per cent.

Olaleye added that the full immunization coverage across the region for children aged 12-23 months who received vaccinations by first birthday, which is 50 per cent, is lower than the National target of 80 per cent.

Nonetheless, he stressed that it somewhat improved across the states except Osun and Ekiti State with 43 and 48 per cent respectively, while Ogun State consistently recorded lowest 35 per cent coverage over the years.

While the UNICEF Communication Officer, Lagos, Mrs. Blessing Ejiofor, noted that the workshop in collaboration with National Orientation Agency (NOA), Lagos State, is to familiarize journalists with the key findings of the MICS 2016 to 2017.

Ejiofor, who said it would help to improve on successes and address topical issues, added that survey report on the South West Nigeria, including Edo State, would enable them to generate child rights media advocacy stories using accurate data.

“Empower participants with the knowledge of how to derive accurate and credible stories from data and from 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) report.”

She disclosed that outcome places more responsibilities on journalists to “interpreting data for stories and reports in a friendly way to aid leaders and citizens understanding and action.


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