By Rachael Abujah
Keffi (Nasarawa State) – The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has urged enumerators to demonstrate clear understanding and capacity to complete their tasks on the ongoing National Nutrition and Health Survey, known as SMART.
Dr Yemi Kale, Statistician-General of NBS, made the plea on Monday at a six-day training of field enumerators on data collection for the National Nutrition and Health Survey in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the National Nutrition and Health Survey is a household survey designed to provide up-to-date information on situation of children and women in the country.
NAN reports that participants at the meeting were field staff from state offices of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and National Population Commission (NPopC).
Facilitators were drawn from NBS Headquarters, UNICEF Head Office and Saving One Million Lives Programme For Results (SOML-PforR) National Office.
Kale, represented by Mr Adeyemi Adeniran, Director, Real-Sector and Household Statistics Department of NBS, said that aim of the data collection was to collect data on nutrition status of under five children and women from 15 to 49 years.
Kale said that data would also be collected on other health indicators such as: malaria section, immunisation, acute respiratory infection, skilled bath attendance and Vitamin A, among others.
He said that the data collection would be carried out across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for a period of eight weeks.
According to him, the world, as we know it today, is driven by an increasing premium on reliable data which constitutes an integral part of policy formulation.
“Governments across the globe, like never, have come to appreciate the undeniable role that reliable data plays in national development. In Nigeria, the case is not different.
“At NBS, which is Nigeria’s custodian of all official statistics on socioeconomic and macro-economic indicators, various machineries and tools have been brought to bear in improving the efficiency and reliability of official statistics,” he said.
The statistician-general said that the 2019 data collection for nutrition and health survey would provide quality data that would reflect the actual nutrition and health status of the target population in the country.
Dr Ibrahim Kana, National Programme Manager, Saving One Million Lives Programme For Results (SOML-PforR), said that the exercise was known to be one of the most important biased correction procedures.
According to him, it provides complete and recent information on numbers of malnourished children and women for each selected cluster in the country.
Kana told participants to ensure they follow the rules of the government and all the implementing agencies involve in the survey.
He advised them against accepting false information during the data collection.
Kana advised participants that children, who were identified with severe Acute Malnutrition, that is a MUAC 115mm, or bilateral Oedema, should be referred or transported to an appropriate outpatient therapeutic for immediate and appropriate treatment.
The programme manager emphasised the importance of the national nutrition and health survey to SOML-PforR Programme.
“Good nutrition is the bedrock of child survival, health and development.
“People with adequate nutrition are more productive and can create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger.
“Malnutrition, in every form, presents significant threats to human health.
“The survey will enable the country to plan well,” he said.
Kana said clearly that results from the survey would served as a tool for measuring performance improvement for states to achieve the Disbursement Link Indicators in the SOML-PforR initiative.
In his address, Dr Emmanuel Meribole, Director, Health Planning, Research & Statistics, Federal Ministry of Health,(FMoH), said that nutrition was a critical part of health and development.
Meribole said that nutrition was related to improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease and longevity.
According to him, healthy children learn better.
The director said that a lot of processes had gone into the programme to ensure quality endurance.
He said that the survey was funded by the Federal Government to ensure sustainability and technical support from UNICEF.