By Lexi Elo
Sickness, poverty and motor accidents are considered the three leading causes of death in Nigeria amongst other causes, latest snap poll results released by NOIPolls Limited has revealed. In line with this finding, most respondents were of the opinion that Nigerians do not live up to old age in recent times; with perceptions divided between ‘50 years or less’ and 70 years as the current life expectancy in Nigeria.
Although the World Health Statistics 2014 report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that the life expectancy in Nigeria rose from 46 years in 1990 to 54 years in 2012.
Furthermore, 68 percent of respondents interviewed disclosed that they personally know individuals who have passed away in the last three months with majority of these respondents within the North-West (77 percent) and North-East (76 percent) zones. In addition, ‘Sickness’ was pointed out as the leading cause of death of these individuals (65 percent); followed by ‘Motor accident’ (12 percent), ‘Natural death’ (11 percent) and ‘Insurgency’ (8 percent) amongst other causes.
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Interestingly, findings from this poll highlight crucial implications for key policy reforms in Nigeria’s public health system, poverty alleviation, rural development planning, transportation & road sector. As such there are key considerations for various stakeholders ranging from: government at the federal, state and local levels; public health policy makers and institutions; poverty alleviation agencies & instutions; the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), federal and state road maintenance agencies, as well as key ministries and agencies relating to road and transportation in Nigeria.
Recently, the WHO indicated that the mortality rate in Nigeria is high. With several socio-economic, health and environmental factors contributing to the high mortality rate in Nigeria, malnutrition has been identified by a recent Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructures (DFRRI) as a dangerous problem threatening long life in Nigeria despite Nigeria’s vast arable land that is enough to grow sufficient food. Families and communities need to be educated on the best way to feed in order to increase the life expectancy in the country.
There is also the menace of road accidents; this has killed nearly 1.3 million people annually according to Dr. David Okello, director at World Health Organization (WHO). Another cause of death is the sad incidence of insurgency that has ravaged parts of the North-West and North-East regions. While the government and other stakeholders have risen to fight against insecurity especially in these zones, there is still more to be done to curtail the predominant deaths among Nigerians by improving the standard of living of Nigerians as well as the creation of more awareness on precautionary measures to prevent accidents that lead to death.
Against this background, NOIPolls conducted its recent poll on the leading causes of death in Nigeria to gauge the perception of Nigerians on the life expectancy and the major causes of death in Nigeria.