By Shola Akingboye – 6th November 2020
The Hon Minister of State, Health, Dr. Olorunimbe Mamora has described the launch of the National Dissemination of Report of the 2019 Verbal and Social Autopsy Study (VASA), as a round peg in a round hole tool to aid effective planning for infant, children and maternal health in the country.
In his welcome address at the commissioning of the report for onward dissemination, Mamora commends the indulgence of the Minister of Health, Dr Ehanire, as the pilot behind the work, says the success of the report would not have been saves for the leadership disposition of the honourable minister.
“The Technical Working Group of this Report could not have actualized the objectives of this survey without the leadership and motivation of the Hon Minister of Health. Thank you, Honourable Minister”. He said.
Dr. Mamora further revealed that the VASA survey was a follow up to the 2018 NDHS, where a total of 3,215 under-5 mortality cases were selected out of which 31 percent (974) were Neonates while 69 percent (2,241) were Children.
“The 2019 VASA report which is placed before us today for launch will be a veritable tool for planning for infant, children and maternal health in the country. The VASA survey was a follow up to the 2018 NDHS, where a total of 3,215 under-5 mortality cases were selected out of which 31 percent (974) were Neonates while 69 percent (2,241) were Children.
“In Nigeria, the most common causes of neonatal deaths including preterm birth (early birth) are birth asphyxia, pneumonia and meningitis. Other causes are tetanus and malformations just to mention a few. In addition to the aforementioned causes of infant and child deaths are other factors like – religious beliefs, socio-cultural practices, age and education of mother, socio-economic status of household, illness recognition, and quality of care and health system factors”
“For the 2019 VASA survey, two sets of interviewing teams were sent to the field. The teams focused on responses from caregivers in the households, group discussions and in-depth interviews within the community in addition to the household interviews. The National Population Commission handled the quantitative component of the study, while the University of Lagos handled the qualitative aspect of the 2019 VASA survey”
“I commend the efforts of various stakeholders such as CIRCLE, USAID, Federal Ministry of Health, particularly the Department of Family Health, National Bureau of Statistics, Lecturers and National Population Commission who worked tirelessly to bring the 2019 VASA survey to this stage. It is my hope that such collaborative effort will continue in the future”
“At the end of this launch, I am optimistic that policymakers and all stakeholders will use the data to design programmes of better health care delivery in Nigeria”
“It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this historic event of the official launch and dissemination of the 2019 Verbal and Social Autopsy (VASA) Study by the National Population Commission in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health and support from USAID and other key stakeholders”. The Minister added.
Also applauded among the key players on the outcome of the survey by Dr Mamora is the Chairman National Population Commission, Alhaji Nasir.
“I seize this opportunity to congratulate you on your appointment by Mr. President to superintend over the most dynamic population agency in Africa. I wish to acknowledge members of the Commission, the Honourable Federal Commissioners representing the 36 States and the FCT”
“I welcome in a special way our development partners, USAID, WHO, UN and other key stakeholders who have been with us all through our journey to this day. Your support has been tremendous and the key to our achieving the objectives of the VASA project” Mamora enthused.