UNICEF collaborates with NBS for information on nutrition
United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said that it would continue to collaborate with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to provide up-to-date information on the situation of Nutrition and Health of Children.
The UN Agency’s Chief of Field Office, Bauchi, Dr. Abdulai KaiKai said that UNICEF will also measure key indicators that support Nigeria to monitor progress towards National and State level commitment and goals.
KaiKai, at the Zonal Dissemination of the findings of the National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHS) meeting held in Bauchi, explained that these are in fulfillment of the agency’s mandate of ensuring child survival development and protection of rights of children.
According to him, the NNHS 2015 data show that Jigawa has the highest prevalence of severe underweight (13%) among all states surveyed, while the situation is particularly critical in Bauchi where more than half of the children under 5 are stunted.
He stated that immunization rate in the North East and North West zones is still the lowest in Nigeria with more than half of eligible children still receiving no vaccine, as the country is still far from achieving the universal mosquito net coverage advised by the National Malaria Control Strategic Plan (NMCSP).
“Diarrhea prevalence is still very high among children 6 to 24 months, thus indicating that complementary feeding introduction is a very delicate transition period and continued breastfeeding until the age of 2 is highly recommended”, he said.
Represented by UNICEF Field Officer, Dr. Danjuma Almustapha, KaiKai observed that high maternal and child malnutrition prevalence in the North West and Eastern Zones corresponding with the lowest prevalence of anti-natal care coverage needs to be improved considerably in order to reduce maternal mortality.
Chief of Field Office expressed the believe that participants will find the report useful to guide decision-making to bridge the equity gap in allocating funds and resources for health and nutrition interventions.
The meeting was earlier declared opened by NNHS Project Director, Mr. Isiaka Olarewaju who stressed the importance of statistics, and encouraged government and other stakeholders in the health sector to make use of statistics for planning.
The meeting which drew participants from the zonal states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Yobe was presented with three papers that included “Evolution of National Nutrition and Health Survey by Head of Household Statistics Division, Mr. Adeyemi Adeniran