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Published On: Wed, Nov 6th, 2019

NDHS sacrosanct for national development -Buhari

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L-R Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, acting Chairman, National Populations Commission (NPC) Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin and the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Tunde Lawal during the launch of the NDHS yesterday in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) is a necessary tool for national development.
Buhari stated this in Abuja during the launch of the 2018 NDHS report by the National Populations Commission (NPC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire said the information collected through the 2018 NDHS will assist policymakers and programme managers in designing and evaluating programmes and strategies for improving the health of the country’s teeming population.
He said there are few new key indicators that were added to the 2018 NDHS to help track health service deliveries through delay model.
“These indicators include Referral rate, Mode of transportation in and out of health facilities, duration at which decisions were taken to seek health care etc.
“The 2018 NDHS will also provide indicators relevant to the Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals. To achieve this, government has put in place several policies and interventions, especially community interventions, to scale up these high impact interventions. Some of these include the Maternal Perinatal Deaths Surveillance and Response Programme, Road Map on accelerated reduction of Maternal and Newborn Morbidity and Mortality in Nigeria, National Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition Strategy, Basic Minimum Package of Health Services in line with our 5-year National Strategic Health Development Plan from 2018 – 2023 using existing structures at all levels of health care to guide the uniform scale up of these interventions.
“Also the revised Basic Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) with the ultimate goal of ensuring the survival of mothers and their newborn through the provision of Skilled Birth Attendants by recruiting and deploying Midwives to under-served areas, improving referral and transportation system especially where we have high burden of maternal and newborn deaths.
“To provide an enabling implementation environment for these policies, the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund and the Saving One Million Lives Initiative was created to procure essential medicines, vaccines, mama/delivery kits and equipment as well as staff health facilities appropriately to ensure the provision of quality maternal and child health services.
“In addition, through the implementation of the Task shifting/Task sharing policy, a number of skilled birth attendants have been trained over the years to ensure the provision of safe birth services. Several campaigns have been implemented to educate and inform the public about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and in May 2015 a law was passed at Federal Level banning FGM. Literature has also shown that male involvement is critical to ensure early identification of problems and access to health services especially considering our cultural context where most males are gate keepers. Educating and involving them in certain health interventions helps to reduce the barriers to timely care.
“I enjoin all to not relent in the effort and commitment to support the agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria as it relates to improving and sustaining the health and wellbeing of all Nigerians irrespective of their status.”

Burari committed to improving health system -SGf
Also speaking, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha said President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to improving the health sector in the country.
Mustapha who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Tunde Lawal said the thematic areas of coverage of the study are in line with the vision of Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, aimed at improving health care and lifting 100 million people out of poverty in the next 10 years and deploying the population of the country as asset for development.
He said the Government is also committed to promoting health and well-being of all Nigerians. “It is in fulfilment of this that the President recently rolled out the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to revive the health sector. The 2018 NDHS report is,therefore, a vital tool in this critical effort. To underscore the emphasis placed on health care the Universal Health Care Programme was launched and 1% of the annual capital budgetary allocation earmarked for its sustainability. The health sector also ranks high in the nine priority areas of the current Administration.
“I am therefore pleased to note that the indicators from the report covers the following key areas: Fertility, Family Planning (among married women age 15 – 49), Maternal Health Care (among women age 15 – 49), Child Health, v) Nutrition, Child Mortality (death per 1,000 live births), vii) malaria, Domestic Violence (among women age 15 – 49), and Female Genital Cutting.
“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the data generated by the survey will also provide the information needed to channel resources to address key development areas as well as efficiently monitor and evaluate Nigeria’s progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and other international obligations.
“This survey report is a product of collaboration among several organisations. These include the National Population Commission (NPC), the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) of the Federal Ministry of Health, and our Development Partners led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Global Fund, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Health Organisation (WHO). We equally thank United States based research company, ICF for providing technical support in conducting the survey. Nigeria appreciates your invaluable contributions and look forward to deepening the relationship.”

Nigeria first to include genotype testing of children in survey -NPC boss
On her part, the acting Chairman of the National Populations Commission (NPC), Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin said that Nigeria is the first country to include genotype testing of children in survey.
She said that the 2018 NDHS Nigeria piloted genotype testing of children ages 6-59 months for sickle cell disease for the first time in a DHS survey anywhere in the world.
“Genotype testing was carried out in a subsample of more than 11,000 children.(v)20% of children have the sickle cell trait. (vi) The overall prevalence of sickle cell disease in Nigerian children age 6-59 months is 1.3%.The prevalence of sickle cell disease is above 2.0% in six
states: Oyo (2.8%), (2.4%), and Taraba (2.2%). These outcomes are not limited to two areas; Lagos (2.7% ), Osun (2.6%), Kano, (2.4%), Kogi.
“I am pleased to inform you that these new improved processes piloted here in Nigeria, have been adopted as standard procedures in DHS surveys by other nations especially in Africa.
“Another innovation was the inclusion of the DHS Program’s disability module in the 2018 NDHS. This allowed the Commission to collect information on disability status of Nigerians for the first time. The result of the survey shows a number of significant outcomes:
2% of women and 2% of men ages 15 and above have difficulty or cannot function in at least one domain of disability such as seeing, hearing, communicating, remembering or concentrating, walking or climbing steps, and washing all over the body or dressing up, 9% of women; and 10 % of men have some difficulty in at least one domain. The data on disability will be of significance to the Social Development Statistics in planning for the wellbeing of persons living with disabilities in the country.”
She said that the 2018 NDHS is the sixth Demographic Health Survey (DHS) conducted in Nigeria since 1990.
The Chairman added that the survey provided up-to-date estimates on basic demographic and health indicators in the entire country.
Towards accomplishing this survey report, the National Population Commission worked in close collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) under the Federal Ministry of Health across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory.
“A total of 41,821 women age 15-49 in 40,427 households and 13,311 men age 15-59 in one third of the sampled households were interviewed, representing a response rate of 99% of women and 99% of men. I am pleased to say that new, innovative approaches were used in the conduct of the 2018 NDHS.

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