Children born in Nigeria in 2019 face low life expectancy rate and may not live beyond 2074, United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has stated.
This is contained in a press statement issued in Abuja Tuesday by UNICEF Nigeria’s Communication Specialist, Eva Hinds.
Hinds, who described Nigeria’s performance on the global life expectancy index for children as comparatively unimpressive, said a child born this year in Denmark was likely to live until the 22nd century.
Within Africa, according to the UNICEF expert, only children delivered in Central African Republic, Chad and Sierra Leone have a lower life expectancy than those born in Nigeria.
She noted that while an estimated 25,685 babies were expected to be born in Nigeria on New Year Day, an average of 257 children who are still within their first month of life were equally expected to die every day in the country.
She attributed this situation to preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery and infections as sepsis and pneumonia, a violation of their basic right to survival.
While also quoting Pernille Ironside, UNICEF’s Acting Representative in Nigeria, Hinds said: “We can and must do more to ensure that children born in Nigeria survive their first day of life, and are able to survive and thrive for many months and years to come.
“In Nigeria today, only one out of every three babies is delivered in a health centre, decreasing a newborn baby’s chance of survival. This is just one of the issues that need to be addressed in order to improve the chances of survival of those babies born today and every day.
“This New Year Day, let’s all make a resolution to fulfill every right of every child, starting with the right to survive.
“We can save millions of babies if we invest in training and equipping local health workers so that every newborn is born into a safe pair of hands.”