Still nothing for the Nigerian child

An estimated 25,685 babies were supposedly born in Nigeria on New Year’s Day, according to UNICEF, with Nigerian babies making up 6.5 per cent of the estimated 395,072 babies born on New Year’s Day globally.

Within Africa, Nigerian babies will account for almost 40 per cent of all those born in West and Central Africa and more than 23 per cent of those born in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, over half of the world’s births are estimated to take place in just eight countries including Nigeria.

A child born in Nigeria today is likely to live only to the year 2074; 55 years of age and a child born today in Denmark is likely to live until the 22nd century.

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Only children born in three countries today have a lower life expectancy than that of Nigerian children: Central African Republic, Chad and Sierra Leone. Globally in 2017, about a million babies died the day they were born and 2.5 million in just their first month of life. In Nigeria, each year, about 262,000 babies die at birth, the world’s second highest national total while every day in Nigeria, 257 babies die within their first month of life.

Most of these children died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia, a violation of their basic right to survival.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which UNICEF will be commemorating with worldwide events throughout the year. Under the convention, governments committed to, among other things, taking measures to save every child by providing good quality healthcare.

Prince Charles Dickson PhD,

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