UNICEF worried over under-5 deaths per 1,000 births 


The United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) Tuesday expressed worry over the under-five mortality rate in Nigeria at about 102 per 1,000 live births.

The report from UNICEF said it was a notable reduction from 120 in 2016 and 2017, but still far from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of 25 per 1,000 live births.

The statement released by the communication specialist, Advocacy and Partnerships UNICEF Nigeria, Susan Akila, Tuesday stated that estimated 100 children die in Nigeria die every hour due to factors related to severe malnutrition, one third of these deaths (34 per 1,000 live births) occur within the first 28 days of life.

“Under-five mortality 102 deaths per 1,000 live births. 100 children die in Nigeria almost every hour. If left untreated, children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) are nearly 12 times more likely to die than a healthy child,” UNICEF said.

The report which was the most recent further stated that food insecurity was at an alarming rate in Nigeria.

UNICEF said 25 million people are food insecure, between the period of March and May this year.

It said that the number of people to experience food insecurity was projected to increase to 31 million by June and August 2024.

The UN agency cautioned that the cost of inaction by relevant authorities may lead up to 15% GDP loss for Nigeria.

UNICEF’s statement also highlighted the current situation about the resurgence of the polio variant known as Vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) in Nigeria.

It said cases of the new polio variant were now being reported across Nigeria.

The UN agency said Nigeria as the last country to be affected by polio in Africa, got declared polio-free on August 25, 2020.