The new official Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) data jointly released by the Narional Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has highlighted nationwide drop in Infant Mortality rate to 70 per 1000 live births from 97 in 2011.
The result of the fifth Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS5) conducted in 2016 and 2017 revealed that Nigeria made significant improvements in some areas while others remain unchanged or have worsened since 2011 by not keeping pace with population growth when the last survey was conducted. The result stated that infant mortality rate has dropped to 70 per 1000 live births from 97 in 2011 while deaths among children under age five have dropped to 120 per 1000 live births from 158 in 2011. The 2016-2017 result also revealed that malnutrition among children under age five has worsened nationwide with the highest concerns in northern states as Child wasting (children who are too thin for their age) increased from 24.2% to 31.5%, while child stunting (children who are too short for their age) increased from 34.8% to 43.6%. MICS5 is a recognised and definitive source of information for assessing the situation of children and women in the areas of Health; Nutrition; Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH); Education; Protection; and HIV & AIDS amongst others in Nigeria as well as in other countries where it is carried out. The findings of the survey are used for planning, monitoring and decision making on programmes and policies to address issues related to the well-being of children and women in Nigeria. UNICEF acting representative in Nigeria, Penile Ironside during the launch of the result said, the use of this new MICS5 data will improve the lives of Nigerians by informing about important gaps that are impacting children and women so that appropriate actions can be taken”, adding that it is not about data for the sake of data. Since 1995, UNICEF has supported the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), with technical assistance and funding to conduct five rounds of MICS, informing progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other major national and global commitments. “The data for MICS5 was collected between September 2016 and January 2017 from 33,901 households in 2,239 enumeration areas across the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory.