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Nigeria long way behind achieving children’s well-being, says UN

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze and Ameh Ochojila, Abuja
17 August 2022   |   2:52 am
The United Nations says feedback from the 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)-National Immunisation Coverage Survey Report (NICS) launched, yesterday, indicates Nigeria

United nations.<br />Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The United Nations says feedback from the 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)-National Immunisation Coverage Survey Report (NICS) launched, yesterday, indicates Nigeria has a long way to go in ensuring the well being of its children.

UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, said this in Abuja at the launch of the report by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in collaboration with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

The coordinator, who was represented by Peter Hawkins, the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria said: “The picture is a mixed one. While there has been good progress – and we should celebrate that – we still have a long way to go towards ensuring the well being of children in Nigeria.”

The report, according to the UN, reveals that child mortality decreased from one in eight children dying before their fifth birthday in the 2016 MICS report to one in 10 children in the current report.

Hawkins said there has also been significant progress in exclusive breastfeeding and birth registration rates. According to him, the exclusive breastfeeding rate increased from 24 per cent to 34 per cent, while 60 per cent of Nigerian children are now registered at birth with authorities, compared to 47 per cent in 2016.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who launched the report, said it would serve as a major source of data for baseline analysis and national development.

Osinbajo, who was represented by Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said the government has made concerted efforts to improve the well-being of its citizens, adding that the report will be an additional instrument for enhancing development.

Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, NBS, Adeyemi Adeniran, said this round of survey has over 200 indicators, which recorded the highest response rate in the MICS series.

He said: “It is my hope that launch of the results today and subsequent deliberation on the results will lead to review, design and implications of policies and programmes that will positively impact on the lives of Nigerians, especially, on the lives of women and children.”

In goodwill message, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and his Budget and Planning counterpart, Prince Clement Agba, said the report should, by no means, be an end, urging use of the data collected.

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