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2021 Nigeria MICS Report shows Improved Breastfeeding, Birth Registration rates in Nigeria

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By Joyce Remi-Babayeju

The 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey Report, MICS and National Immunization Coverage Survey Report has shown that there is an upward rate of exclusive breastfeeding from 24 per cent to 34 percent and nearly 60 percent of Nigerian children are now registered at birth.

The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, today officially launched Nigeria’s 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and National Immunization Coverage Survey (NICS) report, which provides reliable nationwide and internationally comparable data to monitor the situation of children and women in Nigeria.

The Nigerian MICS Report carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics in collaboration with UNICEF is a household survey developed by UNICEF to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring human development indicators in general and the situation of children and women, in particular.

Overtime it responds to changing data needs, expanding from 28 indicators in the first round in 1999 to 200 in its current sixth.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) implemented MICS which provides data on child mortality, health, nutrition, education, child and social protection, women’s health care and empowerment, water, sanitation and hygiene, while NICS assesses vaccination coverage provided through the health systems.

The latest MICS results reveal that Nigeria has made progress in some sectors such as Child mortality which decreased from 1 in 8 children dying before their fifth birthday (MICS 2016) to 1 in 10 children (MICS 2021).

There significant progress recorded in exclusive breastfeeding and birth registration rates as report shows that 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.

Also child marriage involving women married before age 18 has equally reduced from 44 per cent to 30 per cent since 2016.
The Statistician General of the Federation/ Chief Executive Officer of NBS, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran said, ” “The 2021 Nigeria MICS-NICS report provides evidence-based data for all key stakeholders to prioritise quality services for children and women with higher efficiency and effectiveness.”

Adeniran noted that the he information collated will inform policies aimed at social inclusion of the most vulnerable population, help identify disparities, and allow for international comparability.

“As we build back better from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MICS-NICS survey provides evidence to shape interventions and focus resources in a way that helps children and their families reach their full potential.

“Using the data to monitor progress towards our collective commitments to children and families, and inform future action is critical if we must leave no one behind, Adeniran said.

UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins said, Data is critical for effective budgeting and decision making – and the data from these surveys together paint a picture of the situation for children and families in Nigeria.”

The picture is a mixed one. While there has been some good progress, and we should celebrate that – we still have a long way to go to towards ensuring the well-being of children in Nigeria, Hawkins emphasized.

According to the UNICEF lead , the findings of this survey will help guide the Federal and State governments as they plan their budgets – providing evidence for where more support and funds need to be   wisely allocated and utilized.

The survey measures the government’s progress towards national commitments and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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