Ebonyi State dissemination and official launch of the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) was held at the International Conference Centre, Abakaliki, on Wednesday 11th of December 2019.
The 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) was designed to provide data for monitoring the population and health situation in Nigeria.
The occasion was graced by Governor. David Nweze Umahi ably represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Kenneth Ugbala Igwe, Hon. Darlington Okereke Maduabuchi who is representing Ebonyi in the National Population Commission, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Henry Aloh, Traditional rulers and the host of others partners of NDHS.
The Chairman, Dr. Henry Aloh, former Commissioner for Health, in his opening remark said that the day marked a special day in Ebonyi State “as we are formally launching Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) for the 1st time in Ebonyi State which is very important as without the survey, the country and Ebonyi can’t measure whether they are doing well in the educational, health and other sectors of the country.
Dr. Aloh said that looking at the survey, “we will discover that we are doing better than previous years as it has unveiled the progress of the government so far”.
Before declaring the event open, he further applauded the President and Governor of Ebonyi State for their contributions to the success of the survey
The Federal Commissioner, Hon. Darlington Okereke, in his speech said that the 2018 NDHS is the sixth demographic and health survey conducted in Nigeria since 1990.
He added that the NDHS was implemented by the National Population Commission (NPC) in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Program (NMEP) of the Federal Ministry of Health, which the funding was provided by the United State Agency For International Development (USAID), Global fund, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation (BMGF), United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) and World Health Organization.
He thanked them for their immersive support.
Dr. Okereke further said that the practice value of the information contained in the 2018 government DHS report is enormous and they have collectively worked hard to generate and present it to Nigerians.
He applauded the contribution of their development partners to the success story and also the role of respondents in the various households interviewed.
Similarly he thanked President Buhari for granting the National Population Commission to contribute their quota to the national development and Governor Umahi for his positive disposition toward the program.
Mr. Okereke prayed that at the end of the official launch of 2018 NDHS report, that policy makers, relevant government ministries, departments and agencies, the organized private sector and other data end-users would take the report as a call to action, to study it very carefully and use the data to identify priority action areas.
During the analysis of the survey, Ebonyi was recognized for doing well in some aspects of the sector and was deprecated in some sectors.
Ebonyi was rated high in the prevalence of malaria among children aged 6-59 months who tested positive for malaria, and also in South East, Ebonyi topped in spousal violence.
Ebonyi State among the Southeast states was also rated as one of those states with high prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Nevertheless, Ebonyi was rated the highest fertility rate per woman among South East states, which was regarded as Ebonyi women not taking effective use of family planning methods.
The Governor of Ebonyi State ably represented by the Secretary of the State Government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala in his speech praised NDHS for the beautiful work they have put together, saying it has been the vision of Ebonyi state to record her health history,.
He identified Ebonyi with NDHS and said it’s a powerful record that would help the government of Ebonyi in planning for its citizens.
He urged the traditional rulers to study the document as it would help from grassroots in curbing areas where Ebonyi lacks, like the prevalence of female genital mutilation and spousal violence.
He also urged the Commissioner of Health to take not lightly as he said “Health comes first even before security”.
When the floor was thrown open for anyone to contribute, His Royal Highness Eze Dominic from Ikwo said on the issue regarding the FGM, he has been sounding it to the hearing of his community members, such that now, in his community, nobody can do that publicly, so, some may still be hiding to perpetrate the act.
And in spousal violence he promised take the bull by the horn and enlighten the young men in his community to desist from beating their wives.