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June 16, 2014 
Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey shows a decline in childhood deaths and an improvement in malaria prevention


Abuja, Nigeria: The 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) was released today in Abuja. The 2013 NDHS, the fifth DHS survey in Nigeria, provides the Government of Nigeria and international partners with reliable and up-to-date statistics on the health and welfare of the Nigerian population.

The 2013 NDHS was implemented by the National Population Commission (NPC) with financial support provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The data for the survey were collected nationwide, with a sample of more than 30,000 households. Thirty-nine thousand women and 17,000 men age 15-49 were interviewed.

The survey shows improvements in a number of key health indicators, but at the same time, there is still much room for progress, particularly in reproductive health. It highlights a decline in childhood deaths. The 2013 mortality rate for children younger than five is 128 deaths per 1,000 live births, a decline from 201 deaths per 1,000 live births reported in the 2003 NDHS.

The NDHS shows important successes in malaria prevention. Among Nigerian households, half own at least one Insecticide-Treated Net (ITN), a substantial increase from two percent of households in the 2003 NDHS. Children and pregnant women are most vulnerable to malaria. In 2013, 17 percent of children under five and 16 percent of pregnant women slept under an ITN the night before the survey. This is a marked improvement from the one percent of children under five and pregnant women who reported using an ITN in 2003.

Progress has stalled, however, in the area of reproductive health.Sixty percent of women receive antenatal care (ANC) from a skilled provider (doctor, nurse, midwife, or auxiliary nurse or midwife), a number that has not increased since 2003. The proportion of women giving birth at health facilities and women receiving delivery assistance has also not improved since 2003. More than 60 percent of births in Nigeria still occur at home, while 36 percent of births occur in health facilities. Less than 40 percent of births in Nigeria are assisted by a skilled provider.

For more information on the 2013 NDHS contact the National Population Commission (NPC), Plot 2031, Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Zone 7 Wuse, PMB 0281, Abuja, Nigeria (Telephone: 234-09-523-9173; fax: 234- 09-523-1024; email: info@populationgov.ng; internet: www.population.gov.ng)