WHO, NGOs train medics in Ekiti on infant mortality
A one-day workshop themed: “Helping Babies Breathe (HBB),’’ organised by a non governmental organisation, Project C.U.R.E, on Thursday trained some medical personnel in Ekiti to improve neonatal care in the state.
The training which took place at the Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Ado-Ekiti, was facilitated by ABUAD in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Dr Douglas Jackson, the President, Project C.U.R.E, who was represented by Miss Amy Greene, said that the programme was organised to support the effective utilisation of the newly commissioned 400-bed multi-system at Afe Babalola Teaching Hospital (ABUTH).
“In Africa, less than 33 per cent of children have access to neonatal care and this mainly predisposes them to deaths caused by malnutrition, diarrhoea, HIV/AIDS and other preventable diseases.
“With this training, our medical personnel will be able to sensitise pregnant women on the hazards associated with poor neonatal care.
“They should also be able to educate them on the need to take care of their personal hygiene for improved health of our babies,’’ he said.
According to Jackson, the NGO has donated one million dollar worth of medical equipment to the ABUATH.
The Founder of ABUAD, Chief Afe Babalola, said that his interest on good maternal healthcare was borne out of his early life experiences.
He said that his mother, Abigail, was a victim of poor maternal care and that only four, out of the 10 children she gave birth to survived infancy.
“I want to appreciate Project C.U.R.E for its philanthropic gesture.
“Women and children are very important in the society and anything that affects them will have adverse effects on other spheres of life.
“ABUAD has also signed an MoU with the Aster hospital in Dubai; we are doing all these to help Nigerians get treatment here in Nigeria without traveling abroad,” he said.
Mrs Modupe Babalola, the wife of ABUAD’s founder, commended Project C.U.R.E for saving 60,500 newborn babies from deaths in Nigeria so far and training 1,343 birth attendants.
She said that the organisation had also facilitated train-the-trainers trips worldwide through the HBB programme.
“With this training, the three most common causes of preventable neonatal death which are complications during childbirth, complications from preterm birth, as well as neonatal infections will be tackled.
“However, there is need for us to get to the grassroots, where unregistered deaths and deaths often erroneously associated with witchcraft take place.
“It is essential for extensive and sustained sensitisation to be embarked upon in these areas as attention is not being paid to the real causes of deaths in these areas,’’ she said.
The wife of the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Olori Bosede Adejugbe, said that the programme was essential and coming at the right time.
“It will be suicidal to ignore the frightening revelations by the United Nations Children’s Endowment Fund (UNICEF) data that 2,300 under- five children die daily in Nigeria.
“This is said to be the second highest in the world; so, there is urgent need to change the outlook for good,’’ Adejugbe said.