Nigeria has one of the highest under 5 mortality rates in the world with 157 deaths per 1000 live births. Nationally 11 million children under 5 are stunted, 30% suffer from vitamin A deficiency and 70 % are anaemic. Much of the countrys routine health services are weak and fragmented. Based on the experience of vitamin A supplementation (VAS) through Child Health Days, in 2010 the Government initiated the Maternal, New-born and Child Health Week (MNCHW) campaign with the aim of delivering critical nutrition and health interventions.
During MNCHW pregnant women, mothers and children under the age of five are mobilised to attend Primary Healthcare Centres The key intervention that has been consistently provided in all 37 States is VAS.
To date twelve rounds of MNCHW have been conducted. National VAS coverage has increased from 26% in 2010 to 47% in 2015. Since its inception, 246million children have been reached with VAS, 83 million children with deworming tablets and 32 million pregnant women with iron-folic acid supplements. The platform has also been utilised to deliver immunisation, antenatal care service, malaria control, water and sanitation promotion, birth registration and HIV testing.
The success of this biannual event can be attributed to the highest level of political commitment, strong partnership between the Government and partners and increasing acceptance from the community. The focus for Nigeria now shifts to programme equity and universal coverage, ensuring that no child is deprived of vitamin A and other critical interventions.