Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Ebonyi has been identified as the state with the highest fertility rate in the South East with 5.4 children per woman, while Enugu has the lowest with 4.1 children per woman.
Ebonyi also boasts of the worst child mortality rate in the zone, according to statistics from the 2018 National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS).
The survey, conducted by the National Population Commission in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health, was targeted at identifying and tackling health and family issues that affect children and parents in the country.
In the report released in Enugu during the 6th national dissemination and official launch of the 2018 NDHS, Ebonyi had the highest cases of under-5 mortality in the region with 91 deaths from 1, 000 live births, while Enugu is the lowest with 61 deaths.
On the cases of under-five stunting in children, Ebonyi also topped other states in the South East with 25 per cent, while Anambra is lowest with 14 per cent.
The report also indicated that with 21 per cent of children between 6 to 59 months testing positive to malaria, Ebonyi ranks highest, while Imo with eight per cent is the lowest in the zone. Federal commissioner of NPC, Mr. Ejike Ezeh said statistics gathered from the survey will be of significance to social development and wellbeing of citizens.
On the method used in conducting the survey, he said, “the anthropometry process was improved to collect high quality height and weight measurements from children and women and a new biomarker checklist was introduced to ensure that no important tasks were missed.”
He also revealed that the new improved processes piloted in Nigeria had been adopted as standard procedure in demographic health surveys by other nations especially in Africa.