U.S. and Partners Fund New Demographic Health Survey

From L-R: National Population Commission Director General Dr. Ghaji Bello; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Abdulaziz Abdullahi; USAID Nigeria Acting Mission Director Erin Holleran; and Director Health Planning, Research and Statistics Emmanuel Meribole.

Abuja – At a press conference today, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Mission Director Erin Holleran joined the Ministry of Health’s  Permanent Secretary Abdulaziz Abdullahi to announce the 2018 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) that will provide comprehensive data to monitor and assess the health status of the population.

This will be the sixth such study carried out in Nigeria, with a NDHS having been conducted about every five years since 1990.  The survey will provide reliable estimates of health indicators to better inform health programming and targeting of both government of Nigeria and donor assistance in the coming years.

“This survey will give us concrete answers about where we have made progress in the last five years, and critical information on the areas where we need to concentrate to make a difference in the lives of Nigerians going forward,” Ms. Holleran said at today’s press briefing at the Federal Ministry of Health.  Permanent Secretary Abdullahi said the 2018 NDHS data will increase understanding of the population, health and nutrition situation of Nigerians throughout the country.

The survey will collect data on items such as: fertility levels and preferences, breastfeeding practices, mothers and their children’s nutritional status, early childhood mortality and maternal mortality, maternal and child health, malaria infection rates and prevention practices, and domestic violence.  For the first time, the 2018 DHS will also provide estimates of anemia prevalence among children age 6-59 months and adults, as well as estimates of malaria prevalence among children age 6-59 months.

USAID is the principal funder of the 2018 NDHS, providing approximately $9.1 million of the $10.96 million cost of the survey.  Other donors include the Global Fund, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Dangote Foundation.  The government of Nigeria will contribute $1.13 million in human and physical resources, as well as advocacy and monitoring.

Ms. Holleran added that “malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea are all preventable and treatable diseases and, with this survey, we will be able to measure successes and as well as identify the challenges in mitigating the impact of these diseases.”