Kebbi State, one of the states with the highest rates of new-born mortality (under the age of five) in the country, has been rated as one of the states with the highest rates in the world.
The state records 32,514 deaths of children under the age of 5 annually. Following this, the state has been rated fourth by the United Nations’ International Education Fund (UNICEF) on the index of places with the highest infant mortality rates.
The Chief of Health ,UNICEF, Dr.Sanjana Bhardwaj stated this during a one-day technical consultative meeting on health sector in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.
“The state is one of the highest in Nigeria, with a record of 32,514 children under the age of 5 dying yearly,” she said. She said, considering the steady drop in Nigeria’s mortality rate, the issue of Kebbi was worrisome and affects the country’s mortality rate.
“About 12.7 million children died in1990, but in 2013,the number drastically reduced to 6.3 million,” she said. She opined that concerted efforts must be put in place by all stakeholders to check the trend, stressing that no child should die from preventable diseases.
Earlier In his welcome adress, the State Commissioner of Health, Alhaji Umaru Usman Kambaza, said the issue of healthcare requires a multi-dimensional approach from all stakeholders and the need to collaborate with UNICEF to reduce the trend.
On his part, the state governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, assured that the state government would use whatever steps necessary at its disposal to buck the trend.