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UNICEF Harp On Importance Of MICS/NICS Data, Says Its Critical For Effective Budgeting, Decision Making In Nigeria

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has said the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, (MICS), and the National Immunization Coverage Survey, (NICS) reports paints a true picture of Women and Children situation in Nigeria.

The Planning and Monitoring Specialist, (UNICEF) Enugu Field Office, Maureen Zubie-Okolo stated this on Thursday during the MICS/NICS Dissemination meeting held in Enugu.

She posited that current MICS-NICS data is critical for effective budgeting and decision making.

According to her, “the data from this survey paint a picture of the situation for children and women in Nigeria. The picture is a mixed one. While good progress has been made, disparities still exist.

“For instance, the 2021 MICS-NICS report reveals that child mortality has decreased from 1 in 8 children dying before their fifth birthday to 1 in 10 children since the last round of MICS five years ago (2016/ 2017),” she said

She further stated that “there is also significant progress in exclusive breastfeeding and birth registration rates adding “the exclusive breastfeeding rate doubled from 17 per cent to 34 per cent, while 57 per cent of Nigerian children under age of five have their birth registered with civil authorities, compared to 47 per cent in 2016.

“In addition, child marriage (women married before age 18) has dropped from 44 per cent to 30 per cent since 2016.

“As highlighted disparities still exist, while exclusive breastfeeding is almost two times higher among mothers of tertiary/higher education than those with no education, child marriage is about four times higher in rural areas than in urban areas.

“MICS is designed to collect statistically robust and internationally comparable data on child mortality, health, nutrition, education, child and social protection, women’s health care and empowerment, water, sanitation and hygiene, while NICS assesses vaccination coverage provided through the health systems.

She explained that “in Nigeria, the first in the series of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS1) was conducted in 1995 by the Federal Office of Statistics (FOS), now National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), with technical and funding assistance from UNICEF.

“NBS has subsequently successfully implemented five other rounds of the survey, including the sixth round (MICS6) which was launched by His Excellency, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“UNICEF thereby’ encourages all federal and state Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Development Partners, CSOs, private sector, academia, development partners , and the media to fully utilize the survey findings and generated data to plan and advocate for the protection, promotion and fulfillment of the rights of all children, women and men of Nigeria as enshrined in national policies and global commitments such as the SDGs.

Zubie-Okolo reassured the Stakeholders of UNICEF commitment towards a sustained partnership with relevant stakeholders, with a view to further strengthen the statistical system of Nigeria in order to advance the development agenda and work towards a better Nigeria.

The ceremony which was attended by UNICEF partners including the World Health Organization, United Nations, will end on Friday

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=83856

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