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FG launches demographic, health survey

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Fred Ezeh, Abuja

The Federal Government, on Thursday, launched the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), to collect high-quality data for policy formulation, programme planning, monitoring and evaluation.

It said the survey was aimed at fostering and reinforcing ownership of data collection, analysis, presentation and usage.

Minister of health, Prof. Issac Adewole, told journalists at the launch of the programme, in Abuja, that the exercise, which is 6th in the series, will end in 15th December.

The Minister, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Abdullaziz Abdullahi, explained that the sample size for the survey consists of 1, 400 clusters (small geographically defined areas) with each state and FCT having 37 clusters, with the exception of Lagos and Kano States that have 53 clusters respectively.

He further explained that the clusters, are made up of 580 (41%) urban clusters with 17,310 households, and 820 (59%) rural clusters with 24,690 households, with each cluster having 30 households.

“Expectedly, a total of 40,567 women and 12, 056 men would be interviewed in the survey. The 2018 NDHS, unlike the previous exercises, has been designed with additional components on malaria and genotype testing,” he added.

Director General, National Population Commission (NPC), Dr. Ghaji Ismaila Bello, said in his remarks that the survey would among other things, provide quality data on fertility levels and preferences, contraceptive use, maternal and child health, infant mortality level, immunisation, nutrition, breast feeding and several others.

He said, in addition to that, it will measure hemoglobin level (anemia) of women and children in the subsample of households selected for the male survey and also assess the nutritional status (weight and height) of women and children in the households.

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He was optimistic that it will produce quick and  credible result, and ensure the data are available for the use of program managers and policy makers in government and non-governmental organisations.

He acknowledged and solicited the support of states government and other stakeholders to the success of the exercise.

Meanwhile, the Acting USAID Mission Director in Nigeria, Erin Holleran, said she was happy that the survey will provide answers to some unanswered questions and also end the era of guess work in data management.

“Malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea are all preventable and treatable diseases. And with this survey, we would be able to measure our successes and our challenges,” she said.

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