United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, has disclosed that over 950 Nigerian children under the age of five could die every day from preventable causes over the next six months.
UNICEF said this could be as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted routine services and threatened to weaken the health system.
UNICEF, in a statement explained that globally, 6,000 additional children under five could die every day.
It said the estimate is based on an analysis by researchers from the John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, newly published in the Lancet Global Health Journal.
Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director said under worst-case scenarios, the global number of children dying before their fifth birthdays could increase for the first time in decades.
He warned, “We must not let mothers and children become collateral damage in the fight against the virus.”
He explained that UNICEF had made steady progress in reducing preventable child maternal deaths in Nigeria, assuring that over the last 20 years, it would be devastating if that progress was lost or reversed.
The Executive Director said the under-five mortality rate had declined gradually over the last two decades in Nigeria from 213 deaths per thousand in 1990 to 120 today.