By Abdullahi Jalaluddeen
The United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF says birth registration of children in Nigeria has increased to 60 per cent.
The Chief of UNICEF Field Office Kano, Mr. Rahama Farah, stated this at the launching of the Kano State Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2021 (MICS).
The Fund said the birth registration increases from 47 per cent in 2016 to 60 per cent in 2.
Represented by Senior Education Specialist, Michael Banda, Farah said the country has also witnessed significant progress in exclusive breastfeeding, child mortality and child marriage.
According to him, “The MICS results reveal that Nigeria has made progress in some sectors. Child mortality decreased from 1 in 8 children dying before their fifth birthday (MICS 2016) to 1 in 10 children (MICS 2021).
“There has also been significant progress in exclusive breastfeeding and birth registration rates – the exclusive breastfeeding rate increased from 24 per cent to 34 per cent, while nearly 60 per cent of Nigerian children are now registered at birth with civil authorities, compared to 47 per cent in 2016. In addition, child marriage (women married before age 18) has reduced from 44 per cent to 30 per cent since 2016.
“In Education, about seven out of every ten children (68%) of the right primary school age children are attending school or higher, while about five out of every 10 (50%) of senior secondary school age are attending secondary school or higher,” he said.
Farah added that, “though, there are pockets of deprivations that are getting worse and need for our urgent collective effort and response.
“We therefore need to examine factors behind our performance, be it positive or negative and find workable solutions to improve the various indices. We must identify and address, the underlying causes for poor performing indicators. Investigative qualitative studies should complement the MICS results and provide us with a strong case for deciding out actions. Our actions or inaction will also be reflected in the next MICS in four years’ time from now, therefore, it’s time we pulled up our sleeves and got to work,” the UNICEF Chief, Farah however stated.
Declaring open the event, the Secretary to the Kano State Government, Usman Alhaji said the survey is important to measure it current situation and also ensure planning towards development of the state.
Alhaji however commended the UNICEF for it consistent support towards the development of the state.