Nigeria Society of Neonatal Medicine, NISONM, a body that promotes quality newborn care, has raised the alarm over the increasing deaths of newborn babies in the country, saying that statistics had shown that in Africa, Nigeria ranked highest in neonatal mortality and second in the world after India.
President of NISONM, Professor Chinyere Ezeaka disclosed this yesterday during the ninth Annual General and Scientific Meeting of the organisation, which took place in Enugu.
According to her, out of about seven million babies that are delivered yearly in the country, about 270, 000 die per annum.
Ezeaka noted that about 30 newborn babies die every hour in Nigeria, pointing out that the sad development was totally unacceptable, hence their decision to gather in Enugu to sensitive women on how to avert the ugly situation.
Professor Ezeaka expressed regrets that most of the deaths, which she attributed to pre-maturity, jaundices, infections, among others, could have been prevented if women were properly sensitised.
She averred that they started the meeting with a mobilisation outreach at Ndeabor in Aninri Local Government Area of the state where she said women were taught how to prevent death of the newborn through personal hygiene, among others.
“We had community outreach and health talks with the mothers, we talked about personal hygiene and interacted with the mothers on how to take of the cord,” she stated.
Earlier in her address at the workshop, the NISONM president explained that the theme of the conference, ‘Newborn Health in the Context of the Sustainable Development Goals,’ with subtheme as ‘Establishing Partnerships for Maternal and Newborn Health: How Far?’ was apt “to address our current challenges especially asphyxia, newborn sepsis, prematurity and neonatal jaundice.”
She disclosed that plans were ongoing to develop a national newborn care protocol manual, adding that they were also planning to embark on a massive drive for Bag and Mask Ventilation devices in all the public and private levels of care in the country.
According to her, since inception in 2008, NISONM has committed technical skills, promoted quality newborn care and facilitated national and international collaborations to strengthen the implementation process of reducing neonatal morbidity and mortality in Nigeria.

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