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Five in every 1000 women die during birth in Nigeria, says NPC boss

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FIVE hundred and seventy-six women, out of every 100,000 live births, die in Nigeria while giving birth, according to the National Population Commission (NPC).

This means that in every 1000, five Nigerian women die while delivering their babies.

Acting Chairman of the commission, Hassan Bashir, made this known during the 52nd Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development, in New York.

Bashir said this was because a good percentage of adolescent girls in Nigeria, between the ages of 15 and 19, are already reproducing. Available data showed that 23 per cent of girls in the stated age bracket had given birth, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the NPC boss as saying.

“The situation puts women, especially young girls, at risk of maternal death which stands at 576 deaths per 100,000 live births,” Bashir said.

This is because only 36 per cent of such teenage mothers had their deliveries in health facilities while 38 per cent of the deliveries were attended to by skilled birth assistants.

“The total Fertility Rate remains at 5.5 per woman; 63 per cent of the entire population is under the age of 25; 42 per cent is under the age of 15 years,” Bashir said further.

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“Fifty per cent of the female population is in the reproductive years, while 54.8 per cent of the population constitutes the working age.”

However, checks by The ICIR show that figures quoted by the NPC boss were not different from the figures contained in the National Demographic and Health Survey of 2013, almost six years ago.

Bashir told the gathering the field work for the national demography and health survey, 2018 has been concluded, but that the result is still being awaited.

Speaking about the age data of the country, the NPC Acting Chairman said that the current overall life expectancy in Nigeria is 52.2 years, and that persons aged 60 years and above, represent less than five per cent of the entire population.

This is down from the World Health Organisation figure of 55 years for male and 56 years for female Nigerians in 2106.

The figure remained constant in 2018.

“Nigeria estimated population is currently at over 198 million with an annual growth rate of 3.2 per cent,” Bashir added, while also saying that a nationwide census is expected to hold by 2020.

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Major challenges facing the country, according to Bashir, include the unavailability of timely information and robust disaggregated data for tracking the progress so far made with regards to achieving the 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda.

“Some of our critical concerns include addressing the needs of over 66 million adolescents and young people, aged 10 to 24 years (half of whom are girls) to gain access to comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health information and age appropriate services,” he said.

“There is also the need to address the contraceptive needs of 14 million internally displaced persons affected by increasing insecurity, as well as the needs of over 13.2 million out-of-school children including school-drop-outs due to unintended pregnancies.”

The 52nd Session of the Commission on Population and Development “will focus on a review and appraisal of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and its contribution to the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

The event which kicked off from Monday, April 1, will end on Friday, April 5, in New York, USA.

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