Federal Ministry of Health has charged state government to key into newborn action plan to reduce newborn deaths in the country.
The minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who stated this in Asaba during the launching of Delta state’s Every Newborn Action Plan, urged the state to fully implement newborn action plan to reduce neonatal mortality rate.
The action plan was launched by the Delta State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (DSPHDA) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The minister, who was represented by Dr. Bose Adeniran, a director in the federal ministry of health, said the state must mobilise adequate resources to implement the action plan for newborn babies to survive and reach their full potentials.
Among other strategies to ensure the implementation, the minister called for capacity building for front line health workers at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of healthcare services.
He commended Delta for being the second state to domesticate the action plan after Rivers which was first launched in 2017 by the federal government.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Chiedu Ebie, while unveiling the document, lamented the worrisome rate of women and children mortality noting that the launch was an indication of the state government’s commitment to ending the preventable newborn mortality.
He said, “each year, 289,000 women still die while giving birth, an estimated 18,000 children die every day from preventable diseases and circumstances, and 2.9 million newborns die during their first 28 days of life.”
Ebie said in 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF launched the ‘Every Newborn Action Plan’ to provide a roadmap of strategic actions for ending preventable newborn mortality, stillbirth and reduce maternal mortality.
Earlier, a health specialist in UNICEF Rivers field office, Dr. Eghe Abe, said the action plan document would state in plain words how Delta plans to cater for the newborns.
“It is in the light of this that UNICEF wholeheartedly supported the development of this plan. If the plan is fully implemented it is believed that every newborn would not only survive but would thrive and develop to its full potentials.
“As we are all aware, there are emerging and strong evidence that progress towards achieving the SDGs by 2030 will only be made if we identify the greatest health disparities and reduce them.
“UNICEF will continue to support the government of Delta State towards its effort at addressing disparities and inequities in health outcomes among the most marginalised people with poor health indicators,” he added .