The National Population Commission (NPC) says it has started collection of data
for 2019 Verbal and Social Autopsy (VASA) in Ondo State to determine the causes and contributory factors of deaths in under five children.
The Acting Chairman of the Commission, Bimbola Hundeyin, made this known on Wednesday at a press briefing in Akure.
The chairman, represented by the State Director, Oluyemi Falusi, said that the survey was aimed at providing up to date information on early childhood mortality rate.
He said that it would also cover the estimation of prevalence and health system factors of neonatal, infant under five mortality using the 2018 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) households.
The chairman said that the 2019 edition of the VASA Survey was the second in the series conducted by the commission and the first time they had it was in 2014.
Hundeyin further said that the commission had collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Health and other key stakeholders in conducting the 2019 VASA survey.
According to him, this is to assist policy makers with reliable data to plan and formulate policies for the health sector in relation to maternal and child health.
“The result of the survey would provide national and zonal level estimates of the major causes of under five mortality in Nigeria from 2013 to 2018.
It will also make available patterns of care seeking, social factors and interventions received as related to death in children less than five years old, along with qualitative narratives of factors associated with these patterns,” he said.
Hundeyin noted that under five mortality in Nigeria was very high with an average of 132 deaths per 1000 births, adding that every available tool must be deployed to combat and curb the menace.
“This, therefore, brings us to the imperativeness of generating reliable data on the causes and determinants of neonatal, infant and child mortality in Nigeria.”
He urged government officials both at the states and local government levels, religious leaders, traditional rulers and the press to support the exercise to succeed.
The exercise is currently going on in all the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT.
The survey which started on October 29, end on November 6 in Ondo State.