900,000 Newborns Lost Annually In Nigeria Due To Inadequate Care

A Professor Of PaediAtrics At The University Of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Professor Alice Nte says 900,000 newborn babies die yearly in Nigeria due to lack of adequate care.

Professor Nte said this in an interview at a trainers’ course on essential newborn, organised by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Health and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in Port Harcourt.

She said the programme was to train those who would impart knowledge and skills to nursing mothers and others who care for the infants and newborn babies in the society.

According to her, the programme was designed to ensure that newborn babies were adequately catered for, stressing that nursing mothers and other caregivers must be taught how to make newborn babies breathe, to keep them warm as well as ensure that they are breastfed for the first six months after birth.

Also speaking, a consultant Neonatologist, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Dr Ezeanosike Obumneme, said reduction in newborn deaths in Nigeria would have big implication not only for the country but the entire African continent.

Dr Obumneme, who blamed the incessant deaths of newborn babies in the country on diarrhoea pneumonia and other sicknesses, said the Federal Government has not come out with policies and programmes to reduce infant deaths.

He stressed the need for the participants to keep track of children who are dying as well as their mothers with a view to knowing why they are dying.

In her own response, the focal person for neonatal health, Rivers State Ministry of Health, Dr Iroro Smith, said the training was an essential care for newborn babies.

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