UNICEF in Nigeria, has called on journalists to promote the rights of new-born and children in the country.
Mr Paul Mudzango, a UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Sokoto Field Office, made the call at a two-day media workshop organised by the fund in Sokoto.
Mudzango said more than 80 per cent of under-five deaths in Nigeria were from preventable causes, adding that prevention requires more commitment from government, media and development partners.
Quoting from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey, Mr Mudzango said Nigeria has one of the highest numbers of new-born deaths in Africa, with a neonatal mortality rate of 37 per 1,000 live births and approximately 250,000 deaths occurring every year.
“The 2013 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey has shown that infants and under-five mortality rates improved to 69 from 75, and 128 from 157 per 1,000 live births, respectively. Neonatal mortality rate, however, only reduced marginally from 40 to 37 per 1,000 live births, contributing to 42 per cent of the under-five mortality compared to 29 per cent in 2013,’’ he said.
Mudzango noted that factors contributing to the deterioration of child health indicators included malnutrition, high incidence of diseases, poor environment and poor living conditions, among others.