Children more likely to die in Nigeria than in any other country participating in World Cup

Nearly half of all deaths in children under age five occur in the first 28 days of life.

Nigeria has the highest rate of child deaths among all the nations represented at the ongoing 2014 FIFA World Cup, a new scorecard of the 32 countries competing in the tournament has shown.

According to the scorecard, Nigeria has reduced child mortality by only 42 percent since 1990.

For every 1,000 births in Nigeria, 124 children will die before they reach age five, the report showed.

“The World Cup scorecard shows that when governments prioritize child health, dramatic progress can be made,” said Naveen Thacker, president-elect of the Asia Pacific Pediatric Association.

“Leaders from government, civil society and the business community must unite to ensure that preventable child deaths are soon consigned to the history books” he added.

However, the report says all countries have made significant progress in reducing childhood mortality since 1990, when the World Cup was hosted by Italy.

Yet, not all countries have progressed equally. This year’s host, Brazil, leads the way with a 77 percent reduction in deaths among children under age 5 since 1990.

The ranking, “Child Mortality: What’s the Score?” is being released in the run-up to the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Partners Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 30 – July 1.

At the conference, global leaders will call for accelerated action to improve the health of children, newborns and mothers everywhere.

“There are two main reasons for the reduction of child mortality in Brazil: expanding access to primary health care and Bolsa Família, the world’s largest cash transfer program,” said Paulo Vicente Bonilha de Almeida, child health coordinator with the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

“The National Immunization Program increased immunization rates among Brazilian children, and the National Breastfeeding Policy more than quadrupled breastfeeding.”

Since 1988, Brazil’s constitution has guaranteed its citizens universal health coverage, so that they may access life-saving health services regardless of ability to pay.

Bolsa Família provides cash transfers to poor families in exchange for ensuring that children receive vaccines and attend school. Today, for every 1,000 births in Brazil, 14 children will die before their fifth birthday – down from 62 in 1990, the report further revealed.

Unfortunately, like Nigeria, not every country is doing well as Brazil in saving children’s lives.

A major challenge to saving children’s lives is that nearly half of all deaths in children under age five occur in the first 28 days of life.

A prevalent myth is that to save newborns, sophisticated hospitals and intensive care units are needed.

“Simple low-cost solutions could help every country dramatically reduce newborn deaths,” said Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, co-director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health inCanada.

“For example, wiping the umbilical cord with a disinfectant reduces deaths by half. Putting the baby onto the mother’s chest and encouraging breastfeeding also help prevent life-threatening infections.”


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  • Chintua

    So, who is to be blamed? Jonathan? We all know where most of these deaths occur and why. Before Jonathan is crucified, let us remember that primary abd secondary health care is not the prerogative of the federal government

    • Ralia Ahmad

      The guilty are always afraid. who brought Jonah into this matter. nawa for gej apologists

      • Chintua

        If you understand what is meant by rhetorical question, you would not have made such a comment. The person that commented below knows and it could be seen from the quality of his comment.

  • Shehu Monguno

    Primary health care and basic education are functions of the states and local government. Sad to say that they have failed.

    • 12to34

      After the days of Prof Olikoye Kuti as minister of health Primary Health Care has degenerated. Can the Prof there fight less for doctors and make a mark on primary health care?

  • larry

    These animals that call them selves islamist ,cant even respect the month of ramadan and shield their sword.I guess they are all following the teachings of the lunnnnatic Prafet Called Mohaamed (saw) .May curse be upon him and may he rot in the abyss for the pain and anguish he has brought to mankind with his demented teachings…

    • AMS

      Larry when you want to blame or accuse Boko haram do so without insulting our Holy prophet, I suppose your ignorance has overshadowed your judgement. There is no place for Boko haram in Islam even though they continue to identify with the religion and pls a word of advice seek knowledge because I’m sure your religion did not and will not teach you to abuse other people’s belief or prophet