The National Population Commission (NPopC) has commenced the 2019 Data Collection of Verbal and Social Autopsy (VASA) on infant mortality in 12 Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State.
The data collection is also taking place simultaneously across the 36 states of the federation and FCT.
The Acting Chairman, Bimbola Salu-hundeyin of the commission made this known on Monday in Abakaliki during a press conference on the commencement of 2019 Verbal and Social Autopsy (VASA) Survey.
Salu-hundeyin, represented by the State Coordinator, Mr Edward Ogbu, said that VASA was a research study that sought to obtain data to determine the causes and contributory factors to deaths in children aged 0-5 years old.
The acting chairman said that objectives of the survey were to get updated information on early childhood mortality rate and estimate of the prevalence.
He said others included determination of cultural, behavioural, social and health system factors, infant and under-five mortality among other objectives of the survey.
He said that the agency was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health and other key Ministries, Departments and Agencies to conduct the survey to assist policy makers with reliable data to plan.
Salu-hundeyin added that the survey would also formulate policies for health sector to maternal and child health in the country.
The acting chairman said the result of the survey would provide major causes of under-five mortality in the country from the year 2013 to 2018.
“The 2019 edition of the VASA survey is second in the series conducted by the commission.
“The most common causes of neonatal deaths in children are the early birth, severe infections such as septicemia, pneumonia, menine, tetanus among others.
“For the 2019 VASA survey, there will be focus more on responses from caregivers in households, group discussions and in-depth interviews within the community.
Salu-hundeyin however, stated that the commission was strategically prepared and committed to generating data to aid planning in health sector.
He urged government officials at the state and local level, traditional rulers, religious and community leaders and the media to give necessary support to successful implementation of the exercise. (NAN)