The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have ranked Nigeria 174 out of 180 countries performing poorly in terms of children’s well-being.
The ranking is based on various metrics including child survival, health, education, nutrition, equity, and income gaps.
Nigeria came in below Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and South Sudan in the rankings; with the Central African Republic sitting at the bottom of the list.
The report, released on Wednesday, February 19; said that the health and future of every child and also adolescent worldwide was under immediate threat.
This is from ecological degradation, climate change, as well as exploitative marketing practices; that pushed heavily processed fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol, and tobacco.
It said no single country was adequately protecting children’s health, their environment or their future.
“This demonstrates how far we still need to go in Nigeria; to ensure children can live healthy lives in an environment where they can thrive,” UNICEF Nigeria representative Claes Johansson said.
“We know that investing in the future of our children, giving them an education; and making sure they are healthy and receive the right nutrition, works to provide a better future for everyone.
“We all have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect the health and future of every Nigerian child.”
Even though the poorest countries need to do more to support their children’s ability to live healthy lives, the report said excessive carbon emissions from wealthier countries were also a threat to the future of all children.
“If global warming exceeds 4°C by the year 2100 in line with current projections, this will lead to devastating health consequences for children, due to rising ocean levels, heatwaves, the proliferation of diseases like malaria and dengue, and malnutrition,” it said.