The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) says that 32,514 of under- five children die annually in Kebbi State.
The Chief of Health, UNICEF, Dr Sanjana Bhardwaj, made the disclosure in a one-day technical consultative meeting on health in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday.
She said the state was the fourth in the Nigeria ranking adding that 32 per cent of the under – five deaths were newborns.
“The state is one of the states with the highest mortality rate in the country. No fewer than 32,514 children under- five of age die every year out of which 10, 464 are newborns,” she said.
Bhardwaj however, said that there had been sharp reduction in the global mortality rate from 1990 to 2013.
“About 12.7 million children died in 1990, but in 2013, the number drastically reduced to 6.3 million,” she said.
According to her, Nigeria’s mortality rate has reduced but the Kebbi State remains the way it has been, forcing challenges to the mortality rate depletion in the country.
The Fund’s health chief averred that malnutrition, malaria, pneumonia accounted mostly for the under- five deaths.
“Investments in children have broader social and economic returns that benefit not just children but everyone in the society, hence no child should die from preventable disease,” she said.
In his remarks, the Kebbi Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, assured that within three months, the government would put the state on the right track.
“We will fight the high rate of under – five mortality with the wherewithal we have at our disposal in order to save our dying children,” he said.
He commended the traditional and religious leaders for their efforts in ensuring that the people of the state lived a healthy life. (NAN)