The Acting Chairman of National Population Commission (NPC), Mrs Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin, on Monday said that under five mortality was high in the country with an average of 132 deaths per 1,000 births.
Salu-Hundeyin said this during a news conference on the commencement of the data collection for 2019 Verbal and Social Autopsy (VASA) survey in Abuja.
She said that as a follow-up to the 2018 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS), 3,215 under-five mortality cases were selected, of which 31 percent were Neonates and 69 percent children.
According to Salu-Hundeyin, the regional spread of occurrence of death during the period are 614 (20 per cent) of total deaths in Southern Nigeria, while 2,601 (80 per cent) occurs in the North.
The NPC boss explained that the most common causes of neonatal deaths were birth asphyxia, severe infections such as pneumonia, septicemia and meningitis.
She ascribed some causes of infant death to religious beliefs, socio-cultural practices, age and education of mother and socio-economic status of the household.
Salu-Hundeyin, who reiterated the preparedness of the commission to promote healthcare of the Nigerian child, called for deployment of available tools to combat and curb the menace.
The NPC chairman said that the commission would, through the exercise, generate a reliable data on causes and determinants of neonatal, infant and child mortality in Nigeria.
She reiterated the importance of the exercise, assuring that it would be used by policy makers and other stakeholders to formulate policies that would reduce Neonatal and child mortality to the barest minimum.
The data collection for Verbal and Social Autopsy (VASA) survey, which commenced on Oct 19 to Dec 18, was last conducted in 2014.