Latest statistics ranks Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti high on child mortality in South-West

Latest statistics ranks Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti high on child mortality in South-West
Newly released statistics conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS-6) has disclosed that Ogun State recorded the highest child mortality rate in the South-West.
Ekiti State was ranked second, Oyo State got third while Ondo State came fourth in the category of poor performing states in child mortality.
However, Lagos and Osun States performed low in that order in death of children recorded within the period under review.
To this end, UNICEF has reiterated the need to leverage the 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS-6) to eradicate poverty and other social menace in Nigeria, especially as they relate to women and children.
The UNICEF stated this at a two-day media dialogue that began on Thursday and organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Lagos State Directorate, in conjunction with the Fund, tagged: “2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS-6) for Journalists in South-West Zone.”
It advised Ekiti, Ogun and Oyo states to adopt necessary strategies to strengthen their health system towards reducing high rate of infant and child mortality.
Over 70 journalists, drawn from different media organisations in South-West and statisticians, are currently participating in the dialogue held at the Kakanfo Conference Centre, Ibadan.
The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2021 MICS has ranked the three states high with cases of neonatal, infant  and U-5 mortality.
It said that between three and four children out of 10 die within one month of delivery in those states. UNICEF M4R Specialist, Mr. Oluwasola Olanipekun, who spoke on overview of MICS-6 implications across South-West region, affirmed that 21 per cent of children in the region were delivered outside health facilities, which he said, contributed to child mortality.
He added that Ondo State had the highest child mortality in the region, recording 35 per cent of death between first and fifth birthday and higher by 12 per cent than the South-West average.
He disclosed that Osun State had the highest number of out-of-school children in the South-West with an average rate of 13 per cent.
On early child marriage, Olanipekun rated Ekiti State high, revealing that one out of 10 girls get married before the age of 15, while three out of 10 boys get married before 18 years.
Meanwhile, UNICEF Health Specialist, Dr. Ijeoma Agbo, advised the affected states to comply with the global requirement of one primary healthcare facility per ward and make them functional.
She also called for improved awareness on the need for expectant mothers to patronise healthcare facilities rather than faith-based clinics, which is a major factor responsible for the high mortality rate.
Agbo explained that though Lagos State has the lowest rate of child mortality, there is the need for its government to also do more considering the population.
Speaking, the UNICEF Communication Officer, Lagos Office, Mrs. Blessing Ejiofor, said the importance of data in reporting could not be over-emphasized.
In the same vein, the Director of NOA in Lagos, Dr. Waheed Isola, tasked participants to report facts and figures as encapsulated in MICS-6 on matters affecting women and children.


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