Policymakers in Rivers state have been urged to set up policies that will address some health indices; such as sickle-cell, malaria, maternal and child mortality and domestic violence on women as the 2018 Nigeria demographic survey has revealed that these cases are high in Rivers State
Honourable Commissioner, national population commission, NPC, Rivers State, Dr Ipalibo Harry, who stated this during the official launch of the 2018 NDHS report, said a lot of death have been recorded in maternal and child mortality as most women prefer to deliver through local birth attendants rather than go to hospitals.
According to him, the survey has also shown that there is a high incidence of violence and abuse of women in the state, as Rivers State ranks highest amongst its sister states in South-South region in Violence against women.
“In the community of states in South-South Rivers State seems to be scoring very high in that regard which is poor.
“It means that there are more incidence of violence, abuse, bartering also indicated in the survey.
“Lots of indices are exposed in this direction and it gives us reasons not just by government but policymakers to be involved in the strategies to curb the menace, but also individuals, families, communities to look inward and see what they can do themselves to reduce these negative trends.
“It is the hope of the Commission that at the end of this official launch of the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey report, policymakers, relevant government ministries, departments and agencies, the organised private sector and other data end-users will take this report as a call to action, study it very carefully and use the data to identify priority action areas”
He, however, noted that the genotype survey shows 20% of Children between ages 6-59 months suffer sickle cell disease for the first time in a DHS survey anywhere in the world.
“Genotype testing was carried out in a subsample of more than eleven thousand children. Twenty per cent (20%) of children have the sickle cell trait. The overall prevalence of sickle cell disease in Nigerian children aged 6-59 months is 1.3%, the prevalence of sickle cell disease is above 2.0% in six states: Oyo, 2.8%, Lagos 2.7%, Osun 2.6%, Kano 2.4%, Kogi 2.4% and Taraba 2.2%. These outcomes are not limited to two areas stated above”
On her part, State Coordinator, Nigeria demographic health survey, Charity Elibe, urged the state government to put more effort to ensure that maternal mortality prevalence in the state is tackled.
She said that the NDHS report shows that five hundred and twelve women die out of every one hundred thousand women that deliver in Nigeria.
“For Rivers State, we want them to lay more emphasis on delivery in health facilities because the percentage is not up to fifty per cent of people that deliver in health facilities.
“Some of the women prefer to deliver with a local birth attendant. We want to encourage them to use Health facility in order to reduce maternal mortality to it’s bearest minimum.
“We don’t want women dying while trying to give birth to a child. So they go to the hospital to deliver their babies and that will make us have a better result when we are doing NDHS in the next five years time”