About one million Nigerians under the age of 24 died in 2020 due to healthcare challenges in the country. Estimates developed by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation have shown.
This was contained in a new 2021 report titled, ‘Levels & Trends in Child Mortality: Estimates developed by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation.’
The estimates show that in 2020, an average of 844,000 children under the age of five died; 120,000 children between the ages of five and 14 died; and 75,000 persons between the ages of 15 and 24 died.
The report further disclosed that these deaths were likely consequences of strained and under-resourced health systems, restrictions in care-seeking and preventive measures, and socioeconomic challenges.
It stated, “Geographic and economic disparities, along with fragile and conflict-affected situations. Heighten the risk of death for children and threaten universal achievement of the SDGs.
“Of the 54 countries off track to meet the SDG target on under-five mortality, nearly 75 per cent (40) are in sub-Saharan Africa, 85 per cent (46) are classified as low-or lower-middleincome countries, and about half are classified as fragile and conflict-affected situations.
“For the neonatal mortality target, 70 per cent of the countries at risk of missing the target are in subSaharan Africa, 84 per cent (51) are low- or lowermiddle-income, and 39 per cent are classified as fragile and conflict-affected situations,” the report read.
Children in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia continued to encounter the highest risk of child mortality.
It read in part, “Even without COVID-19-related mortality adjustments, the death toll is still staggering. More than five million children died before turning five in 2020 alone.
“As the world attempts to vaccinate widely to reduce preventable deaths due to COVID-19. It is also time to remember and renew our commitment to ending all preventable child deaths”