The Hon. Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has once again reemphasised the role of data in Healthcare Service delivery.

He reiterated this in a Joint Press Briefing with National Population Commission on the commencement of Nigeria Demographic and Health survey 2018 in Abuja today.

Read his full statement at the Press Briefing below:

I am pleased to welcome the distinguished gentlemen of the press to this joint press conference by the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Population Commission on the commencement of the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) from 15th August to 15th December, 2018 across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.

As you all know, the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey which is the sixth in the series of DHS conducted in Nigeria is a five year periodic worldwide survey program designed by USAID with support from other international donor organizations to assist countries in conducting household sample surveys to monitor changes in population, health and nutrition. The survey is being currently carried out in several countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Data from these surveys will be used to better understand the population, health, and nutrition situation in these countries. The last DHS in Nigeria was conducted in 2013.

The specific objective of the DHS is to collect high-quality data for policy formulation, program planning, monitoring and evaluation. It is also aimed at fostering and reinforcing host-country ownership of data collection, analysis, presentation, and use. Additionally, it seeks to Increase the capacity of host-country partners to collect and use data for policy and program implementation purposes.

The 2018 Nigeria DHS is being conducted by the National Population Commission (NPopC) the agency statutorily mandated to generate demographic data for national planning in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health. As the implementing agency, the Commission is primarily responsible for the planning, analysis and dissemination of the survey results.

The sample size for the 2018 NDHS consists of a total of 1,400 clusters (small geographically defined areas) with each state and FCT having 37 clusters with the exception of Lagos and Kano States which have 53clusters respectively. The clusters are made up of 580 (41%) urban clusters with 17,310 households and 820 (59%) rural clusters with 24,690 households with each cluster having 30 households each. Expectedly, a total of 40,567 women and 12,056 men will be interviewed in this survey. The 2018 NDHS unlike the previous exercises has been designed with additional components on malaria and genotype testing.

The survey seeks to among other things:

1. Collect high quality data on fertility levels and preferences; contraceptive use; maternal and child health; infant and neonatal mortality level; maternal mortality, violence against women, gender, immunization, nutrition, breast feeding, awareness regarding HIV/AIDS and other indicators relevant for the Sustainable Development Goals.

2. Investigate factors that impact on maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality (i.e. antenatal and delivery care, treatment of pregnancy care, female genital cutting and fistula)

3. Provide information to address evaluation needs of maternal and child health and family planning programs for evidence-based planning.

4. Measure hemoglobin levels (anemia) of women and children in the subsample of households selected for the male survey. Also, assess the nutritional status (measure weight and height) of women and children in these households.

5. Assess prevalence of malaria and genotype test for Sickle Cell disease and traits among children 6-59 months.

6. Produce results in a timely manner and ensure that the data are disseminated widely so as to be useful to program managers and policy makers in government and non-governmental organizations.

7. To foster and reinforce Nigeria’s ownership of data collection, analysis, presentation, and use by utilizing its own manpower.

8. To apply data collection methods that ensures the provision of high-quality data at a reasonable cost.

9. To strengthen national capacities to (i) better use of collected data for identifying demographic and health-related basic social needs, (ii) using the data to develop strategies for equitable growth and social poverty reduction, and (iii) linking such strategies to national development strategies.

The quality of the personnel for the DHS will have great impact on its outcomes. To this end, series of training programmes were put together to ensure that the staff acquire the necessary skills for a truly scientific DHS. Field functionaries comprising interviewers and biomarkers (lab scientists and nurses) were recruited through a thorough selection process from the thirty six states and the FCT and they have undergone one month of rigorous training in Saminaka Holiday Resort, Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State. This was intended to equip them with the requisite skills to obtain high quality data in the field.

For this exercise, adequate logistic arrangement for effective deployment of personnel and materials in the selected LGAs has been put in place. The support and assistance of the various State Governments, Local Government Councils and traditional institutions has also been solicited for the provision of accommodation for the field staff. The security agencies have been put on notice in the areas where the exercise is scheduled to take place.

May I once again use this medium to appeal to States and Local Government Councils, Traditional Institutions and Communities in the affected areas to support the Commission in carrying out the DHS by allowing our field functionaries unfettered access to the selected clusters. They should also assist us to sensitize the people on the essence of the project and solicit their cooperation.

The official flag off of the 2018 NDHS is what we are doing here today. The zonal pretests will be carried out by all State teams in one selected state from the zone. The zonal fieldwork is scheduled to commence from 15th to 22nd August, 2018 in the six geo-political zones of the country. The fieldwork at the state level will commence from 26th August to 15th December, 2018 in the 36 States and the FCT.



By Dotun Roy is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

123 thought on ““Data is critical in provision of Healthcare” – Health Minister”
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