The Federal Ministry of Health has charged state governments to key into newborn action plan to reduce newborn death in the country.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire who stated this in Asaba during the launching of the Delta state tagged ‘Every Newborn Action Plan’ urged the state to fully implement newborn action plan to reduce neonatal mortality rate.
The action plan was launched by Delta State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (DSPHDA) in collaboration with the United Nations Children 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 unveilling 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.
According to SHUN, “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.”
Mr. Ebie said that 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, Health Specialist in UNICEF Rivers Field Office, Dr. Eghe Abe added that the action plan document would state in plain words how Delta plans to cater for the newborns.
“It would interest all of us to note that while the under 5 mortality has continued to reduce, the rate of decrease of newborn deaths has somewhat plateaued. Therefore, for the state and country to achieve the SDGs, it needs to do things differently if the neonatal mortality rate is to reduce.
“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,” Abe added.
Also speaking, the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib said that said globally, newborn death account for 45%of death among children under the age of five, resulting in 2.7million lives lost each year.
Dr Shuaib said that the global every newborn action plan endorsed by 194 member states of the 67 world health Assembly (resolution WHA 67.10) was launched by UNICEF in 2014.