NPC survey blames neonatal death on early marriage
By; Elekwachi Chinedum
The 2014 Verbal and Social Autopsy (VASA) survey carried out by the National Population Commission (NPC) has indicated that the increase in neonatal death especially in the northern part of the country may not be unconnected to early marriage among young girls.
The survey which was conducted by the commission in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health and the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the Northern region recorded the highest number of home assisted deliveries with 73 per cent as against 24 in the South.
The survey which also revealed that more than 57 percent of the neonatal deaths occurred at home, put the figure of such deaths which occurred during the first week of life at 72 per cent and 79 per cent in the Northern and Southern region respectively.
Speaking in Abuja Monday, at the public presentation of the report of the survey, the Chairman of the commission, Chief Eze Duruiheoma described the data as wide-ranging which offer significant insights into the causes and circumstances of child mortality in Nigeria.
“The report has shown clearly that some of the causes of the deaths are preventable through proper intervention programmes that will among other things, improve access to health-care services, improve sanitation and access to reproductive health services.
While calling for a deep reflection and wide ranging health and social reforms on the report by planners at national, state and local government levels, the NPC boss expressed hope that the step would reduce child mortality and improve the living conditions of the people.