Avail yours wards Demographic Health Survey benefits –NPC State Director, Ogbu

Ebonyi State Director, National Population Commission (NPC), Mr. Ogbu Edward has made a clarion call to Community Chieftains, Leaders of Thought, Town Union executives and Traditional Rulers in the rural communities as well the Local Government Council Chairmen in affected localities in the state to avail their wards of the benefits of ongoing 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) in the hinterlands of Ebonyi communities.

Mr. Ogbu who decried lack of children in the state localities for the excises due to their exodus to the city centres further emphasised that the NPC since the 15th day of August, 2018 commenced the conduct of the 6th series of DHS in Nigeria being a five year periodic worldwide survey program designed by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with support from other international donor organisations to assist countries in conducting household sample surveys to monitor changes in population, health and nutrition.

The survey according to the State Director of NPC, ‘is being currently carried out in several countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The data from these surveys will be used to better understand the population, health, and nutrition situation in these countries’.

Bemoaning that the Leaders of Thought, Town Union executives and Traditional Rulers in Ebonyi communities claim ignorance of the survey and as a result declined the provision of transit accommodation for the fieldworkers except in Ikwo council area where the Council Chairman provided mobility for the field functionaries and eased the difficulty in getting access to the sampled localities

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“They are also not helping matters in availing their wards of the health facilities like malaria, malnutrition tests and genotype test for sickle cell anaemia patients among others which comprise of interviewers and biomarkers (Lab Scientists and Nurses) recruited through selection process from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)”, the state Director of NPC, Mr. Ogbu stressed.

He added that there is no survey centre close to the field functionaries in Ebonyi, because the closest survey centre for Anambra and Ebonyi states is in Awka.

The state Director of NPC, Mr. Ogbu further explained that the field functionaries have undergone one month of rigorous training in Samanaka Holiday Resort, Lerie Local Government Area, Kaduna State. This, he stated, was intended to equip them with the requisite skills to obtain high quality data in the field.

His words; “The sample size for the 2018 NDHS consists of a total of 1, 4000 clusters (small geographically defined areas) with each state and FCT having 37 clusters with the exception of Lagos and Kano States which have 53 clusters respectively. The clusters are of 580 (41% urban clusters with 17, 310 (59%) rural clusters with 24, 690 households with each cluster having 30 households’ each. Expectedly, a total of 40, 567 women and 12, 056 men will be interviewed in this survey. The 2018 NDHS unlike the previous exercises has been designed with additional components on malaria and genotype testing”.

He added that the survey seeks to among other things; collect high quality data on fertility levels and preferences; contraceptive uses; maternal and child health; infant and neonatal mortality, violence against women, gender, immunisation, nutrition, breastfeeding, awareness regarding HIV/AIDS and other indicators relevant for that impact on maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality (i.e. antenatal and delivery care, treatment of pregnancy care, female genital cutting and fistula)

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“Access prevalence of malaria and genotype test for sickle cell disease and traits among children 6 – 59 months, produce results in a timely manner and ensure that the data are disseminated widely somas to be useful to program managers and policy makers in government and non-governmental organisations.”

Concluding, Mr. Ogbu pointed out that the Zonal fieldwork is scheduled to commence from 15th to 22 August, 2018 in the six geopolitical zones of the country. The fieldwork at the states level will commence from 25th August to 15th December, 2018 in the 36 states and the FCT. Thus; North East has its operational survey sample in Bauchi, while North Central is Abuja FCT, North West has theirs in Kano, South West – Lagos, South – South is in Akwa Ibom, with Ebonyi State was selected for the entire South East zone.

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