The Executive Director of a Non-Governmental Organization, Mr Jamie Drummond, on Monday, January 18, 2016 stated that about 58,000 Nigerian infants get infected with preventable and treatable diseases, including HIV, from their mothers yearly.
Drummond made this shocking disclosure during a chat with journalists in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
According to him, many maternal and child mortality usually occurred as a result of bad government who fail to prioritise the health sector.
He said: “One child in every seven in the world who dies of preventable, treatable diseases every year in the whole world is a Nigerian child.
“One out of seven mothers who dies anywhere in the world is a Nigerian mother and every year 58,000 Nigerian infants catch HIV from their mothers who love them because they didn’t get the drugs to stop the transmission of HIV from mother to child.
“These are completely treatable, preventable things and Nigeria has the resources to stop all of these from happening with good governance dependent on good data and accountability.”
Drummond added that Nigerians need to demand good governance, promote the fight against corruption and encourage the existence of high profile data to utilise the country’s resources wisely.
He further added that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) would require more funding and political space to enable the bureau to achieve its objectives.
He said: “The people of Nigeria need to demand good governance, every single person in Nigeria says the same thing; they need to demand the promotion of the fight against corruption, transparency and good governance.
“When you have transparency and good governance everything else goes better, when you don’t have that, you cannot say that the most important thing is health or agriculture.
“If someone should weigh the magic wound, to provide more political space for the National Bureau of Statistics, provide more funding for it and allow it more independence, I think that can change things.
“Journalists and relevant stakeholders need to follow the budget because they are activists about facts.
“But they cannot do that if the budgets are not open and if they can’t get statistics of what that money have been spent on and after a while people lose the focus of asking questions about following the money.
“Demanding to follow the money and for better governance is the way to improve the lives of the people, so that the money in the health sector will be better spent.’’