Nigeria: Decline in Infant Mortality

Kelikume Oliseh

The Nigeria Demography and Health Survey (NDHS)  is a nationally representative survey designed to provide information on the demographics and health statues of the population which looks at the levels and trends of fertility, family planning, maternal, child health and sexually transmitted infections in the country. The survey is the fifth in the series of Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in Nigeria in years 1990, 1999, 2003 and 2008.

We are going to take a look at the survey conducted in 1990 and in 2013 and make a comparison of the data collected during the survey. It is interesting to see how child mortality is lower in urban areas than in rural areas. Although there is a decrease through the years as we can see in the charts above, this can be attributed to a lot of factors including access to hospitals and quality ante-natal care.

The 2013 NDHS  was conducted in 38,522 selected households nationwide and only men and women aged 15 to 49 years were interviewed with field work duration for three months from February to May 2013.  They were not able to conduct survey in four states namely Borno, Yobe, Nasarawa and Plateau states.

The charts below shows the infant and child mortality rates by rural and urban areas) for the ten-year period preceding each survey.

So we take a look at the mortality rate from 1990 – 2013 in the urban and rural areas to see where we had the lowest and highest rates-

The rates used above are defined as follows:

Neonatal mortality (NN): the probability of dying within the first month of life;

Postneonatal mortality (PNN): the probability of dying after the first month of life but before the first birthday (the difference between infant and neonatal mortality)

Infant mortality (1q0): the probability of dying before the first birthday;

Child mortality (4q1): the probability of dying between the first and fifth birthday;

Under-five mortality (5q0): the probability of dying between birth and the fifth birthday.

All rates are expressed as deaths per 1,000 live births, except child mortality, which is expressed as deaths per 1,000 children surviving to the first birthday.

Note – The reliability of the mortality estimates is affected by the completeness of reporting deaths, the degree of differential displacement of birth dates of surviving and dead children, and the extent to which age at death is accurately reported.

In the next of this series, we will be looking at these rates based on regions.