Prof. Joseph Ngbea, the Benue State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, has disclosed that about 2,300 children under the age of five die daily in Nigeria of preventive diseases.
Ngbea made the disclosure while flagging off the first round of Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Week, MNCHW, in Makurdi.
The commissioner also added that no fewer than 145 women of childbearing age die daily in the country of preventive diseases.
He lamented that “Nigeria has one of the highest death rates in the world among young children and women of childbearing age, and the trend is not improving satisfactorily.”
Quoting the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, Ngbea said, “These deaths are often preventable with relatively simple measures. NDHS, in 2018, estimated that Nigeria makes up only two per cent of the World’s population but accounts for 14 per cent of the global maternal death burden.
“One in every eight Nigerian children dies before their 15th birthday. Nearly 10 per cent of newborn deaths occur in Nigeria.
“Every day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five children and 145 women of childbearing age. An estimated 10 per cent of these deaths are often preventable with relatively simple measures.”
Ngbea also stated that the MNCHW was organised yearly “to deliver an integrated package of highly cost-effective, yet result-oriented promotive, preventive and curative services.
“These services are delivered to strengthen routine services at health facilities. The mechanism is used to consolidate services that immediately demonstrate impact.”
On her part, the Executive Secretary of the state Primary Health Care Board, Mrs Ashi Wende, said the week-long biannual event, which presents the opportunity to scale up health services, “is a strategy to deliver a free package of high impact and cost-effective interventions.
She said: “These interventions are essential to improving the health of women of childbearing age as well as children under the age of five in Nigeria. Its main aim is to deliver a package of basic services proven to be highly effective in the reduction of mortality and morbidity among mothers and their children.”