Insurance coverage

Ekiti has lowest health insurance coverage in South West Nigeria – Survey

AMONG the states in South West Nigeria, Ekiti State generally has the lowest health insurance coverage, and no children in the state have any form of health insurance.

A UNICEF health specialist, Dr Ijeoma Agbo, revealed this during a two-day media dialogue on the Multiple Indicator Cluster (MICS) 2021 6 organized by the National Guidance Agency ( NOA), Lagos State Authority, in collaboration with UNICEF.

The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is conducted every two years by the Bureau of Statistics with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund to fill the data gap for monitoring the health situation children and mothers.

The investigation was launched by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on August 16, 2022.

The 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, which ranked Ekiti States lowest in health insurance coverage for women, also ranked Ekiti, Ogun and Oyo States as having the highest infant and child mortality rates.

During the dialogue, Agbo revealed that between three and four children die within a month of giving birth in Ekiti, Ogun and Oyo states, a development she described as worrying.

She said, “Once a child survives the first month of birth, the probability of dying is highest in Ekiti and lowest in Lagos and Osun states. Although Lagos State has the lowest infant mortality rate, its government also needs to do more considering the population. These scorecards are not meant to berate the government, but a call to action to look at what we are supposed to be working on. »

In a bid to increase child survival rates in Ekiti State, she called on the newly sworn in governor, Abayomi Oyebanji, to prioritize health insurance to reduce child and neonatal mortality in State currently established at 67 per 1000 live births and 53 per 1000 live births respectively, one of the highest in southwestern Nigeria.

UNICEF M4R Specialist, Mr. Oluwasola Olanipekun, who gave an overview of the implications of MICS-6 in the South West Region, claimed that 21% of children in the region were born outside of health facilities , thus contributing to infant mortality.

He added that Ondo State had the highest infant mortality rate in the region, recording 35% deaths between the first and fifth birthday and 12% higher than the South West average.

Earlier, UNICEF Communications Officer, Lagos Office, Ms. Blessing Ejiofor said the meeting was aimed at sharing with media partners MICS data on the situation of children and women in South West Nigeria to inform accurate media advocacy on child rights issues and trigger actions to close existing gaps.