REACTIONS AS UNICEF CLAIMS FAITH-BASED CLINICS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILD MORTALITY RATE

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The United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), warned the Southwest region governments to enforce a change regarding the increasing infant and child death rate. The claims of UNICEF center on a view that ‘faith-based clinics are responsible for child mortality rate, especially in Southwest regions. A health practitioner and consultant with UNICEF, Dr. Ijeoma Agbo, advised the affected states should act on the global requirement of one primary health care facility per-ward; although it seemed like the population factor is inconsequential in the decision. She also advised that the wards are to ensure they are in maximum use. Ireport247 gathered however, that in many of these affected areas, the patients are currently more than the available facilities. This was said during a two-day media dialogue organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and UNICEF, on the 2021 MICS. Ekiti, Ogun, and Oyo states were specifically warned to effect an urgent change, and to adopt necessary means to reduce the mortality rate. These three states ranked the highest in infant and child mortality rates in the Southwest region. Lagos state has the lowest rate of child mortality of all.

This statement has brought about controversies as people ask: “Is there no record of child mortality in primary health cares? Are there no records of faith-based clinics saving lives that primary hospitals declared hopeless and without cure?” In the reports gathered by Ireport247 through random interview across the different geopolitical zones in the country, the South-West is regarded as the zone with the most primary health care facilities: faith-based, public and private alike. It was also gathered that these centres have helped a lot in reducing the pressure and the rush known to be in the government owned facilities; thereby making the service accessible to all.

It is considered a bias that the UNICEF will choose to accuse faith-based organisations rather than generally addressing the whole system. There are no records to show that the high mortality rate are localised in the faith-based centres, neither is there any to prove that the government owned centres are better off. Ireport247 gathered that the success of any natal case is more on the medical practitioners, availability of resources and lastly, the sincerity and cooperation of the patients and not about the ownership. Findings have shown that UNICEF is displaying prejudice in its reports by coming to that conclusion. Some citizens of the said region are appalled at the disrespect and irreverence displayed by the organisation in insinuating that faith-based clinics are incompetent when they have a lot of examples around them, of those that have been saved by the faith-based clinics.

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