A new report by the World Bank says Africa’s giant, Nigeria, will by 2021 become the world’s capital for infants’ death.
The revelation is contained in the latest bi-annual economic report of the World Bank’s Bretton Woods Institution.
It predicts that the most populous country on the continent will overtake India as the nation with the highest number of infant mortality under the age of five by 2021.
This new report comes few months after Nigeria overtook India as the poverty capital of the world.
The report says one reason for this estimate is the fact that the highest number of children who die from malaria in the world can be found in Nigeria.
Another reason is that the West African country recorded 714,000 under-five deaths in 2017, according to the current World Bank figures, while India recorded 989,000 deaths in the same year.
“Nigeria will overtake India in 2021 as the country with the most under-five deaths in the world. More children die of malaria in Nigeria than in any other country in the world,” the report said.
It continued: “Poverty remains high in Nigeria and access to basic social services is not universal. In 2016, the World Bank estimated poverty at 38.8 per cent of the population using the national poverty line. But by the international poverty line of PPP-corrected $1.90 per capita per day, an estimated 49.2 per cent of the population lived below poverty in 2017.”
The report also stated that Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-primary school-aged children in the world, nine million children to be exact. 90 per cent of these children are said to come from Northern Nigeria.
“Vaccination coverage rates in Nigeria have changed little over the last 25 years, in sharp contrast to other West African countries which have made more rapid progress even though they started from higher levels,” the World Bank report added.