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WHO laments increase in world population as UNICEF decries high infant mortality

By Anietie Akpan (Calabar) and Ayoyinka Jegede, Uyo
24 November 2022   |   3:10 am
World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with Cross River State Ministry of Health and other partners, have expressed worry over rapidly increasing world population...

UNICEF

World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with Cross River State Ministry of Health and other partners, have expressed worry over rapidly increasing world population, which rose from about seven billion in 2021 to eight billion in 2022, making it difficult for citizens to cope with crime rate and hardship.

At a technical conference on family planning in Calabar, on Tuesday, stakeholders also blamed unemployment and insecurity on continued increase in world popularity.

WHO’s state Coordinator, Dr. Salisu Ibrahim, represented by Dr. Juliet Ubom, however, reaffirmed commitment to ensuring sustainable family planning policy in Cross River, saying: “We reaffirm our commitment to ensure quality family planning activities. We are also into field supervision and technical support. Our hands are on deck to support the state in this regard, we have seen the gaps in the field and we will share our experience as the days go bye.

SIMILARLY, UNFPA’s representative, Mr. Emmanuel Emesonum, said: “Family planning is in the heart of UNFPA. We will continue to support partners in family planning service delivery in Cross River.”

Director of Public Health, Cross River State, Dr. Jonah Bassey Offor, said population explosion has adverse associated issues.

“The resources to take care of the rising population is a big challenge, so it behooves on us, and the international community, to think of how we will stem population increase. And the only way we can do that is through effective family planning method.”

MEANWHILE, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has decried high rate of childhood mortality and low exclusive breastfeeding among women in Nigeria.

UNICEF disclosed that about one out of 10 children in Nigeria die before their fifth birthday while most states in Nigeria, apart from Benue State, achieved far less than 50 per cent exclusive breastfeeding in 2021.

This was contained in a statement, yesterday, by UNICEF during Multi-Zonal Media Dialogue on Dissemination of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 2021 Report) in collaboration with Broadcasting Corporation of Abia (BCA) for journalists from South East, South South and North Central zones.

Dr. Austin Nwachukwu, who gave a talk on “MICS-2021 Survey: Breaking Down Data into Stories Behind the Figures,” stated that as a household survey, it was developed by UNICEF to assist the country’s data base and guide government in decision making and to generate policies.

He said Benue’s high exclusive breastfeeding figure is attributed to internally displaced persons in camps, who, by circumstance, do exclusive breastfeeding unlike other women in peaceful states that prefer to buy artificial milk as status symbol.

Presenting the MICS 2021 report on Early Childhood Mortality Rates, Health Specialist, UNICEF Rivers Field Office, Port Harcourt, Dr. Eghe Abe said neo-natal mortality rate in Nigeria is very poor as 34 per cent of children born in Nigeria will not get to 28 days or one month.

UNICEF Communications Officer, Dr. Ijeoma Ogwe, said the event was organised to galvanise action, unify with government and persons in positions to take favourable actions for children’s well-being.

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