Research experts with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), have said that the National Nutrition and Health Survey, known as SMART, would lead to an improvement in quality healthcare services in the country.
They said this in separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Nasarawa State, at the sideline of a six-day 2019 training for field emulators on data collection for National Nutrition and Health Survey.
NAN reports that the National Nutrition and Health Survey was a household survey designed to provide up-to-date information on the situation of children and women in the country.
The survey was a collaboration between NBS, Saving One Million Lives Programme For Results (SOML-PforR), National Population Commission (NPC) and Ministry of Health.
It was meant to focus on nutrition, immunisation, malaria, disabilities among others.
Ms Ozioma Ejimaonu, an expert from Abia, said that the survey would lead to a more cost-efficient healthcare system in the country.
Ejimaonu said that it was one of the key elements used to streamline the process of providing healthcare in any country.
According to her, surprisingly, SOML-PforR has provided a better definition of such survey that will improve the situation of children and women in the country.
Mrs Oluchi Okoronkwo, an expert from Imo, said that getting information about children health and use of treatment for common illness was long overdue.
Okoronkwo said that the survey would provide access to improved water and sanitation facilities in the country.
“It will be helpful to policymakers and administrators in monitoring key health nutrition programmes.
“The most vulnerable in the country remain women and children, so getting intervention on their health can only be centred on good quality data,” she said.
According to her, all healthcare stakeholders in the country must agree that such a survey should be the premise on which Nigeria healthcare system is based.
Mr Adebusola Olowolagba, an expert from Oyo State, described the survey as a package solution sold as services that would redesign the challenges in food security, mortality and nutrition.
Olowolagba said that it would support the use by health care entities or patients for the electronic creation, maintenance, access, or exchange of health information in the country.
Mrs Jennifer Moses, an expert from Ondo state, described data as the “lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability.
“Today, in the private sector, analysis of big data is commonplace, with consumer profiling, personalised services, and predictive analysis being used for marketing, advertising and management,” she said.
Earlier, Dr Ibrahim Kana, National Programme Manager, SOML-PforR, cautioned the participants not to allow themselves to be used by the state governments’ officials to reduce or increase the number of children and women of their states while conducting the survey.
Kana charged them not to breach their oath on the importance of quality data, stressing that they should not act in favour of their states.
The NBS, representative Mr Adeyemi Adeniran, Director Real-Sector and Household Statistics, said that the survey was designed as a cross-sectional household survey using a two-stage cluster sampling that would be represented at the state level.
Adeniran said that the aim of the exercise was to collect data on the nutrition status of under-five children and women 15 to 49 of age in the country.
While urging participants against false data collection, he said that accurate data would assist in actualising President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandates of building a healthier Nigeria.
He noted that quality data would enable international agencies to support the government on critical nutrition issues and ensure that they leveraged on it.
NAN reports that the survey will examine acute malnutrition, underweight and overweight among children and it will also look at malaria and household mosquito net ownership.
A total of 124 individuals will be involved in the survey; 115 will constitute the survey teams and nine individuals would serve as replacements where needed.
Facilitators were drawn from NBS Headquarters, UNICEF and SOML-PforR national office.