Why child deaths are on the increase in Jigawa and Zamfara —Experts

Stakeholders on health matters from Jigawa and Zamfara have identified inequitable distribution of skilled workers, culture, distance, poverty, among others, as factors that contributed to the increasing number of child deaths in the two states.

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of a five-day consultative workshop for health practitioners organised by the Save the Children, at Liyafa Hotel, Katsina.

The communiqué, signed by the representative of the Save the Children George Akor as well as the representatives of the participating states , Dr Kabir Ibrahim and Yusuf Mafara respectively, also frowned at deplorable conditions of  health facilities in the two states.

It maintained that the attitude of the health workers towards service delivery must change.

“We must consider ourselves as change agents and do the right things so that the health status of our children, especially in the rural communities, would improve.

‘The current statistics of 200,000 deaths recorded for children under the age of five from preventable diseases such as measles, malaria, meningitis, diarrhea, etc, in Nigeria every year, is disturbing.

It, therefore, called for the re-activation of Wards Development Committee, Villages /Facilities Health Committe, among other community based formations, to drive accountability and improve community participation towards sustainable health care services.

The communique also expressed concern over the slow progress in the functionality of Primary Health Care Under-One-Roof, particularly low phase on the implementation of National Health Act about two years after the Act was assented by President Muhammadu Buhari, despite its importance in improving access, equity and quality of services.

It opined that for Nigeria to achieve sustainable transformation in the health sector,  relevant stakeholders must be willing to serve as change agents that would address  massive corruption, misplacement of priority, neo-liberal policies of government, leading to social and economic dislocation of families and widespread poverty.