Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

Groups under the aegis of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH) have demanded for accountability in the management of child and family health in the country.

The groups noted that, although about 33 per cent of maternal deaths can be prevented through family planning, nutrition, routine immunisation, childhood killer diseases, but, no fewer than 111 women and young girls die daily from conditions associated with pregnancy and childbirth in Nigeria.

This was made known in a communique issued at the end of a two-day training on Budget Tracking in Child and Family Health recently held in Kano State.

According to the communique, “Federal and States Government should lay more emphasis on the existing National Blue Print on Family Planning which cannot be effectively implemented across the states without appropriate consideration for its suitability to local context.

“Family planning remains a sensitive socio-cultural and religious issue, and consequently stalling effective awareness creation on child spacing, especially in the Northern part of the Nigeria.

“While child malnutrition features in stunting, wasting, macro-nutrient deficiencies, and overweight, North-west remains the worst hit by wasting and stunting burden standing at 27 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively in the country.”

The communique, jointly signed by CISLAC and PACFaH, disclosed that no fewer than 400,000 children die annually from pneumonia and diarrheal diseases in Nigeria, adoption and implementation of global recommendations and guidelines for treatments of pneumonia and diarrheal are restricted by lack of political will and specific budget lines at all levels.

“On effective process for tracking and monitoring childhood killer diseases, government at all levels must ensure documented evidence to inform exhaustive budget tracking, analysis and reporting, the political will, commitment to transparency and accountability in the budgetary processes, and systemic capacity to effectively interrogate the new Zero-Based Budget.

“Government must ensure prompt release and effective management of budgeted funds to promote accountability and transparency in government spending on nutrition, creation of specific budget lines to tackle pneumonia and diarrheal, adequate awareness at all levels with appropriate personal hygiene”, it added.