- Nigeria records highest number of out-of-school children, infant mortality.
As Nigeria joins the the world to mark the World children Day on Monday, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has alarmed that three in five Nigerian child suffer one or more forms of violence, abuses before reaching 18, with over 70 per cent experiencing multiple incidents of violence.
According to Mohamed fall, UNICEF country representative, Nigeria has the world’s highest number of out-of-school children, and one of its highest rates of maternal, child and infant mortality, as “More than four million children are unimmunized and tens of millions of Nigerians still do not have access to clean water and proper sanitation, putting children’s health at risk.
” Diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria combined with underlying malnutrition are responsible for most of the deaths among infants and children in Nigeria.”
On the issue of stunted growth among children, UNICEF reveals that Nigeria is the second highest in the world, with 16.5 million affected, and the burden of severe acute malnutrition is high, with an estimated 2.6 million children severely acutely malnourished.
“No matter where a child is born – whether into wealth or poverty – they and their parents have the same hopes and dreams for their future. And we owe it to all children to give them a fair chance to survive and fulfil those dreams.
UNICEF therefore called on for leaders to re-commit to child survival and development on International World Children’s Day
The call came with a global request asking individual to sign a global online petition asking for ‘children to be put back on the agenda.’
Fall continued “We want to build a world where every child is in school, safe from harm and can fulfil their potential – and nowhere is this more true than in Nigeria,” said
“A lot has been achieved – but there is still much to do to ensure that Nigerian children benefit from advances in child rights. At the moment, too many children are being left behind, and we need to reach them.”
“This World Children’s Day, we must recommit to children – knowing that for Nigeria to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, we must invest in long-lasting institutional and community-based systems and policies for children’s survival, growth and development,”
“Nigerian children have a huge role to play in the country’s national development. It is the generation of children growing up today who will take their place as Nigeria’s leaders tomorrow and who will be able to take further to really accelerate the progress we make now.” he said.
“In partnership with the Nigerian Government, we are determined to ensure that stronger investment will yield progress for all children in education, health – including ensuring routine immunization for all, nutrition and child protection.”