By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja – The National Population Commission (NPC) on Wednesday said it had commenced the 2018 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) in Kogi, in collaboration with the state Ministry of Health.
The State Director of the Commission, Mr Ojo Titus, at a joint press briefing with Kogi Ministry of Health in Lokoja, told newsmen that the field work started in the state on Aug. 26 and would end on Dec. 15.
According to Titus, NDHS is a national sample survey designed to provide update information on background characteristics of the respondents within a target population in the country.
“It is essentially a health programme, purely designed to generate reliable data on health and health related issues for policy formulation; programme planning, monitoring and evaluation.
“It started in 1990 and it is conducted every five-year. The 2018 edition is the sixth and very unique, as it focuses on a number of health issues that have direct bearing on the well-being of people.
“It is along this direction that we want information to be passed to the general public for a good and uncompromising result. We have nine field workers and two drivers in Kogi,” Titus said.
He added that the 2018 NDHS would cover 19 Local Government Areas of Kogi, aimed at assessing the prevalence of malaria, genotype test for sickle cell disease, among others.
In his remarks, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that the data from the survey would be used to better understand the population, health and nutrition situation in the country.
Adewole, whose speech was read by the state Director of Public Health, Dr Ayodele Olayemi, noted that the specific objective of the NDHS was to collect high quality data for policy formulation, programme planning, monitoring and evaluation.
According to him, it is also aimed at fostering and reinforcing host country ownership of data collection, analysis, presentation, and increase the capacity of host country partners, to collect and use data for policy and programme implementation purposes.
Adewole disclosed that the sample size for the 2018 NDHS consists of a total of 1,500 clusters, small geographically defined areas with each state and FCT having 37 clusters, with the exception of Lagos and Kano states, with 53 clusters respectively.
He added: “The clusters are made up of 580, 41 per cent urban clusters, with 17,310 households and 820, 59 per cent rural clusters, with 24,690 households, with each cluster having at least 30 households.
“A total of 40,567 women and 12,056 men will be interviewed in this survey.
“The fieldwork at the state level already commenced from Aug. 26, and will last till Dec. 15, in the 36 states and the FCT.
“The 2018 NDHS, unlike the previous exercises, has been designed with additional components on malaria and geno-type testing, among others”.
Adewole, however, appealed to states and local governments as well as traditional institutions in the affected areas to support the commission in carrying out the NDHS, by allowing field functionaries unfettered access to the selected clusters.