Reports shows that Nigeria has recorded 10% increase in exclusive breastfeeding in five years
According to a recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics and the United Nations Children's Fund titled "Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey and National Immunization Coverage Survey," Nigeria's rate of exclusive breastfeeding has increased 10% over the previous five years. According to the MICS data, which was just released by Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, the percentage of moms who exclusively breastfeed rose from 24% in 2016 to 34% in 2021.
According to the MICS-NICS report, which offers the most recent data on exclusive breastfeeding, Nigeria has advanced in some areas.
Additionally, there has been tremendous progress in the rates of exclusive breastfeeding and birth registration. The exclusive breastfeeding rate rose from 24% to 34%, while the birth registration rate for Nigerian children has grown from 47% in 2016 to nearly 60% in 2018. “ Additionally, child marriage (women getting married before turning 18) has decreased from 44% to 30% during 2016, according to the research.
The MICS includes information on child mortality, health, nutrition, education, child and social protection, women's health care and empowerment, water, sanitation, and hygiene, while the NICS evaluates immunization coverage given by the health systems, according to the NBS.
It also mentioned new measures for social transfer, home energy consumption, child functioning, and basic academic skills. The survey tracks the government's progress on its commitments to the people and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Child health specialists responded by describing the rise in exclusive breastfeeding rates and decline in infant mortality rates as noteworthy findings, adding that they show the government's and partners' actions are having the desired effects.
Professor of Paediatrics at the Department of Paediatrics, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Olugbenga Mokuolu, responded to the findings by describing the increase in exclusive breastfeeding rates from 24% in 2016 to 34% in 2021 as a considerable leap.
"Results is crucial for successful budgeting and decision making - and the data from both surveys together offer a picture of the situation for children and families in Nigeria," said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, in response to the report. The picture is a mixed one. Even though there have been some positive developments, which is something to be thankful for, there is still much work to be done in Nigeria to ensure the welfare of children.
Prince Adeyemi Adeniran, the Statistician-General of the Federation and CEO of the National Bureau of Statistics, also reacted to the report. He said the survey's results will help federal and state governments as they plan their budgets by showing where more assistance and resources should be wisely allocated and used.
The MICS-NICS survey "provides evidence to tailor interventions and focus resources in a way that helps children and their families attain their greatest potential as we build back better from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. If we are to leave no one behind, he said, we must use the data to track our collective commitments to children and families, as well as to guide future action.