Malaria, Malnutrition, Others, Account for 267,000 Infant Deaths in First Month After Delivery

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By Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

It has been disclosed that a total number of 267,000 infant mortality occur annually in Nigeria as a result of malaria, malnutrition and diarrhoea which have been classified as childhood killer diseases and conditions‎ which must be thoroughly addressed if Nigeria hopes to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This was revealed by a representative of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Omokore Oluseyi in Kano during the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) training with the theme “For every Nigerian child, early years matter.”

He said the huge number accounts for more than a third of all under-five mortality in which 65 per cent of the deaths, after research, were attributed to malaria, malnutrition, which he said begins at conception, diarrhoea, and other childhood diseases.

‎With such an alarming figure, he said most children who have been severely attacked by the aforementioned diseases, will find it difficult to attain their full developmental potentials in later years and as such, he called on all the tiers of government as well as other stakeholders which includes parents and care givers to do the needful by investing in Early Child Development (ECD).

He said: “Nigeria’s population accounts for 17 per cent of under-five children. Out of this percentage, 267,000 die in their first month of life, accounting for more than a third of all under-five deaths.

“65 per cent of such deaths are attributed to malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition and that in turn affects the child’s development which is an interaction between the child and the environment in which he finds himself.

“About 250 million children are at the risk of not reaching their full development potential globally and Nigeria is among the 10 countries with a high percentage. This means that more losses will be incurred if investment is not made in early childhood,” he added.