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Nigeria records 789,037 under-five deaths – Study

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• Records Highest Among Low, Middle Income Countries
• 15, 000 Children Die Everyday Globally

A recent study has revealed that Nigeria has the highest number of under-five child mortality among low and middle-income countries, as about 789, 037 children die before their fifth birthday.

The study, which also revealed that about 15, 000 children die every day worldwide, showed that despite progress made in achieving the United Nations’ target for child survival by countries, about 789, 037 children died before age five in 2017 as compared to 1,011,620 deaths in 2000.

The research, conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, looked at countries where more than 90 per cent of child deaths occurred in 2017. r

The under five-mortality paper, which mapped child deaths in 99 low and middle-income countries, including Nigeria, from 2000 to 2017, was published recently on Nature Journal and made available to The Guardian by the Director, Africa Centre for Development Communication (ACDC), Stella Kihara.

Unprecedented study finds that the likelihood of a child reaching age five varies nearly four-fold among local government areas in Nigeria, with the highest mortality rate in 2017 in Garki, Abuja (195.1:1000 live) and the lowest in Egor, Nasarawa state (52.0:1000).

Findings showed that neonatal disorders were the biggest causes of deaths before age five in both 2000 and 2017, according to the Global Burden of Disease study, a decrease in deaths from diarrhea and lower respiratory infections accounted for 40 per cent of the overall drop in child deaths over the study period.

Other key findings revealed that in 43 countries studied, the district with the worst child mortality rate in 2017 was still better than the district with the best child mortality rate in 2000, adding that Nigeria had the highest estimated child death rate in 2000 at the local level, which was over 300 deaths per 1,000 births and 195 deaths per 1,000 births in 2017.

The senior author on the study and Director of the Local Burden of Disease (LBD) group at IHME, Dr. Simon Hay said: “Why are some areas doing so well, while others struggle? In order to make progress, we need to enable precise targeting of interventions, such as vaccines…”


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