Infant mortality: Ogun responds to MICS latest report

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The Ogun government has noted the publication of a report as contained in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), rating the state as having the highest infant mortality rate in the southwest of Nigeria.

The survey had in recent statistics recorded Ogun state as having the highest record of deaths of children between the ages of 0 and five years as well as postnatal care for newborns, in the southwestern part of the country.

The state government in a statement in Abeokuta on Sunday by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, cleared the air on the recent result released in the last MICS in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Coker said that the state government was not unaware of the health position of women and children in the state, saying the situation was not as painted by the publication.

She stated that the report also made it clear that the sample size were not adequate for majority of indicators in the state thereby making the report a poor representation of the true picture of infant health in the state.

“Our attention has been drawn to a publication rating three southwest states as having high infant mortality as released in the last MICS disseminated recently in Ibadan.

“While the Ogun State Health Ministry acknowledged the result of the survey, we would like to state that we are monitoring the health situation of birth, our women and children in the state .

‘All efforts are being deployed to ensure Ogun state continues to rank within one of the lowest in infant mortality in the southwest.

The commissioner emphasised that the reporting period for the survey witnessed a major shift in the health system with the COVID-19 pandemic which crippled the health system in the country,

Coker stated further that the recent review of data suggested approximately 40 per cent of pregnant women in the state choose to visit Traditional Birth Attendances (TBAs) for delivery, which might have impacted on the outcome for both mother and child.

She remarked that the present administration was not resting on its oars on the above subject matter, disclosing that systems and innovations had been instituted to address this undesirable trend.

Some of the innovations, according to her include systematic re-orientation of pregnant women to embrace delivery at government health facilities through enrollment of over 50,000 pregnant women and children under 5 years into the Basic Health Care Provision Scheme.

Coker further disclosed that amidst the nationwide shortage of Healthcare personnel, Ogun had recently recruited 55 Midwives and 48 Medical Officers to complement the existing workforce at the Primary Health Care level.

She stressed that plans were at an advanced stage to have a Mother and Child Unit with a dedicated Fetal Medicine Centre at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu.

While allaying the fears of the populace of the state on the report, she said “We believe that with the above innovations and interventions, the infant mortality would be expected to be on a downward trajectory”.

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