Nigeria: 'Nigeria Has Second Highest Stillbirth Rate in the World'

(file photo).
19 September 2023

Nigeria ranks second among countries with high stillbirth rates in the world, experts from the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) have said.

They disclosed this in Abuja during a stakeholders' engagement meeting for Improving Nigeria's Capacity to Use Data on Registered Stillbirths for Decision making & Planning (SPEED Project) being implemented by the International Research Centre of Excellence of the IHVN.

They said the burden of still-births in Nigeria was over 46 percent per 1,000 births, citing underutilization of data on registered stillbirths for decision making as a root cause.

The principal investigator of the SPEED project, Oghome Emembo, said the UNICEF January 2022 Data report revealed that Nigeria recorded a stillbirth rate of 42.9 percent as of 2021, giving it the second place among countries with high stillbirths rates in the world.

She said the SPEED project was working to translate data on Nigerian's still birth to policy.

"Part of the component of this project will build capacity of monitoring and evaluation officers of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Ministry of Health, on data management for sustainability of the dashboard, and data quality assurance," Emembo added.

Dr Abdullahi Jato, head of newborn branch of the child health division of the Ministry of Health, said much attention had not been paid to stillbirth and that the SPEED project would make a significant impact by bringing in policy makers and people in charge of civil registration such as birth and death registrations.

Manager, National Health Management Information System, Ministry of Health, John Bisong, said many strategies could be deployed to reduce stillbirth such as advocacy, awareness, mentorship, documenting and collecting data.

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