Only few children can survive in Nigeria – Report

By Hassan Zaggi

A report by a Commission convened by the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and The Lancet, has placed Nigeria at the far bottom 10 for performance on child survival.

This, therefore, means that only few children can flourish and survive in Nigeria.

A statement made available to The AUTHORITY noted that the ranking is based on factors including measures of child survival and well-being such as health, education, nutrition, equity and income gaps.

The report, which include a new global index of 180 countries, comparing performance on child flourishing revealed that Nigeria ranks 174 out of 180 countries.

This is just below Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.

“The report finds that the health and future of every child and adolescent worldwide is under immediate threat from ecological degradation, climate change and exploitative marketing practices that push heavily processed fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco at children,” the statement revealed.

Worrisome, however, the report disclosed, “no single country is adequately protecting children’s health, their environment and their futures.”

This, therefore, means that children all over the world are in trouble.

According to the report, while the poorest countries need to do more to support their children’s ability to live healthy lives, excessive carbon emissions – disproportionately from wealthier countries – threaten the future of all children.

“If global warming exceeds 4°C by the year 2100 in line with current projections, this would lead to devastating health consequences for children, due to rising ocean levels, heatwaves, proliferation of diseases like malaria and dengue, and malnutrition,” the report warned.

The UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Claes Johansson, however, said: “This demonstrates how far we still need to go in Nigeria to ensure children can live healthy lives in an environment where they can thrive.

“We know that investing in the future of our children, giving them an education and making sure they are healthy and receive the right nutrition, works to provide a better future for everyone.

“We all have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect the health and future of every Nigerian child.”

On his part, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “This report shows that the world’s decision makers are, too often, failing today’s children and youth: failing to protect their health, failing to protect their rights, and failing to protect their planet.

“This must be a wakeup call for countries to invest in child health and development, ensure their voices are heard, protect their rights, and build a future that is fit for children.”

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