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FG launches verbal, social autopsy report to tackle child mortality

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
08 November 2020   |   2:55 am
The Federal Ministry of Health and the National Population Commission (NPC) have launched the 2019 Verbal and Social Autopsy Study (VASA), aimed at addressing child mortality in the country. Speaking at the launch of the VASA Study, yesterday, in Abuja, Chairman of NPC, Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra said from the regional spread of the occurrence of death…

The Federal Ministry of Health and the National Population Commission (NPC) have launched the 2019 Verbal and Social Autopsy Study (VASA), aimed at addressing child mortality in the country.

Speaking at the launch of the VASA Study, yesterday, in Abuja, Chairman of NPC, Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra said from the regional spread of the occurrence of death during the period under review, 2,601 (80 per cent) occurred in the Northern part of the country, while 614 (20 per cent) of the total deaths were recorded in the South. 

He explained that the 2019 VASA edition, which is a follow up to the 2018 National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS), randomly selected deaths from households with under-five mortality cases, adding that 974 representing 31 per cent were neonates, while 69 per cent (2,241) were children. Kwarra observed that the VASA survey was carried out to ascertain the causes and determinants of under-five mortality between 2013 to 2018.

He also said the survey was the second in the series, after the maiden edition that was conducted by the commission in 2014, which involves selected households across the country.

He said: “The situation we found ourselves today as a country, especially with the content of the report is one that calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to rise up and spur into action to provide enabling environment for our young ones to survive and grow into adulthood.

“The conduct of the 2019 VASA survey marks another major step by the NPC in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health and other agencies to respond to the national imperative of providing adequate and relevant data for national planning, particularly in the health sector.”

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire noted that data generated in the survey would provide the information needed to identify key deficits and channel resources to address developmental needs

“It will address developmental needs, as well as monitor and evaluate progress towards meeting the goals of our Universal Health coverage agenda and of the Sustainable Development Goal three, with regards to maternal and child health,’’ he said.

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