Ondo govt restates commitment to reduction of infant mortality

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The Ondo State Government has reiterated its commitment to reduce the rate of morbidity and mortality of newborns and infants in the state to the barest.

Mrs Folukemi Aladenola, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Health, said this on Friday in Akure while declaring open a three-day capacity building workshop.

The workshop was organised by the Department of Nursing Services of the Ministry on Neonatal Resuscitation and Newborn Care for Nurses and Midwives in Ondo State.

Aladenola said the state had recorded tremendous improvement in the health indicators in terms of morbidity and mortality rate of newborns and infants.

She said that the workshop would enable nurses and midwives to acquire the needed skills in neonatal resuscitation and care, especially for the preterm and the sick newborns.

Aladenola noted that Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu had during his first term in office increased the number of Mother and Child Hospitals in the state from two to seven to take care of other senatorial districts that were not involved.

According to her, this demonstrates the governor’s passion for a robust qualitative health care delivery in the state.

The permanent secretary said that in commemoration of the first 100-days in office of the second term of Gov. Akeredolu, the ministry distributed health commodities to pregnant women and nursing mothers as part of efforts to reduce the death of under-five children.

She urged the participants to pay attention to the contents of the lectures at the workshop and step down their newly-acquired skills at their various health facilities.

Earlier, Mrs Alice Ogundele, the Director of Nursing Services in the ministry, described the neo-natal stage as the most vulnerable stage of life especially in the preterm and sick newborns.

She said that the training would enable nurses and midwives acquire the needed skills in neo-natal resuscitation and care.

Ogundele, who was represented by the Deputy Director of Nursing Services, Mrs Mary Aliu, said the workshop which was a continuous one, had greatly improved the health indicators in the state in terms of morbidity and mortality rates of newborns and infants.

She appreciated the permanent secretary for creating an enabling environment for the workshop and for her support toward its success.

Ogundele appealed to the participants to deploy the new skills acquired at the workshop to enhancing their performance at work.

One of the resource persons at the workshop, Dr Kofoworola Jegede, noted that between five and 10 per cent of all newborns require assistance to establish breathing at birth.

Jegede, a Deputy Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, said that out of 136 million births annually in the world, an estimated 10 million would require some attention of interventions.

Mrs Margaret Isijola, another resource person, said the problems of premature and congenitally-ill infants were dated back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

She noted that the 1960s was a time of rapid medical advancement, particularly in respiratory support which made survival of premature babies a reality.

Isijola, who spoke on “Introduction to Intensive Neonatal Care Unit,” stressed the need for nurses and midwives to acquaint themselves with the necessary skills required in managing neonatal cases.

The participants commended the state government for organising the workshop.

The participants said that the new skills they acquired would be put into maximum use in the discharge of their duties.