…1,549 women die annually from pregnancy complications—UNICEF

The United Nations has said a total of 10.2 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in various parts of the country.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon,  disclosed this, yesterday, during the launch of 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan, HRP, in Abuja.

Poverty: Hunger

He said the affected states include Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.

Giving a breakdown of the figure, Kallon said 1.7 million were internally displaced persons, IDPs; 1.3 million returnees from outside the country and 7.2 million others in various groups.

He, however, added that UN’s primary concern was the 7.7 million people, who he said were in need of such support in the north-eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

“These (the 7.7 million) are people who have been displaced and are living in camps or host communities, people who have returned home to nothing, and people living in other areas that are hard to reach for humanitarian aid,” he said.

He said of this number, 6.8 million are being targeted for humanitarian assistance in the 2018 HRP by 60 organisations, including UN agencies and international and national NGOs.

He said a total of $1 billion would be required for such target, while $196 million is being rolled over from the $196 million derived last year.

Kallon added that the aim of the plan in 2018 was to build on the humanitarian work carried out in previous years, with three strategic objectives: “Providing life-saving emergency assistance to the most vulnerable people in the conflict-affected areas, ensuring that all assistance promotes the protection, safety and dignity of affected persons and helping people to kick-start their lives again.”

1,549 women die annually from pregnancy complications—UNICEF

Meanwhile, North-East Nigeria has recorded the highest maternal mortality rate in the country, as out of 100,000 live birth, 1,549 mothers die in the region yearly compared to 165 in the South West.

A UNICEF Health Officer, Bauchi Field Office, Oluseyi Olusunde, stated this, yesterday, during a two-day training for journalists on Ethical Reporting/Media dialogue on children survival and protection issues, organised by Bauchi State Television Authority, with support from UNICEF in Bauchi.

In his presentation on maternal, newborn and child health at the training, Olusunde said one woman dies on account of pregnancy or childbirth in Nigeria, pointing out that out of every 100,000 live births, 576 were likely to die.

The UNICEF Health Officer, who stressed that it was unfair for a woman to die while giving life, said one of the key reasons for this state of affairs was the lack of care for girls before pregnancy as well as wide prevalence of low levels of education in some northern states.

He said 2013 National Health Demographic Survey states that under five child mortality rate was 128 deaths per every 1,000 live birth, adding that under five mortality rate in the North East was high, recording 115.

Earlier, the UNICEF Communication Officer in charge of Bauchi Field Office, Samuel Kaalu, said the objective of the training was to enhance the knowledge of participants on ethical reporting on child issues and bring them to the front burner of national events in the states.

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