Lower Newborn Mortality Rate UNICEF Urges Bauchi Govt

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has charged Bauchi State Government to reduce newborn and infant mortality in the state.

It also re-affirmed its commitment to partnership with the state government to reduce the rate of newborn.

Bauchi state UNICEF Field Office Chief Mr Bahnu Pathak gave the charge in Bauchi at a two days stakeholders engagement meeting on Situation Analysis on Newborn Health.

He assured that with the support of European Union (EU), Unicef and Bauchi state government are committed to tackling the newborn born death in the state.

“Bauchi state Government has made significant progress in fighting deaths for children below five years, we want to joined hands and support the state in fighting the newborn deaths.

The UNICEF chief agreed that, there were challenges that must be resolved.

His words “we all need to commit to giving every child a fair chance at the start of life. It’s both the right and the smart thing to do”.

“Let us all come together as partners and stop newborn deaths”.

In his remark, a UNICEF Health Officer, in Bauchi, Mr Oluseyi Olusunde, announced that” newborn deaths in Bauchi state is alarming and this calls for action”.

According to him ”out of every 1000 newborn, 161 are likely to die before their fifth birthday in Bauchi and this  is far above Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)’s target”.

“For our newborn presently, we have about 11,455 deaths of newborns every year in Bauchi, therefore Bauchi is number five in Nigeria in terms of newborn deaths”.

Olasunde added “this is why the Bauchi government set up a committee, Bauchi State Every Newborn Action Committee (BASENAC) in compliance with the five point agenda of the state government to fast track execution of policies that stop newborn deaths”.

“To ensure that maternal, newborn and child health and the continuum of care are included as a key priority in the outcome of the document to be produced by this stakeholders’ Committee meeting.

“With the Partnership of UNICEF/ EU and the state government, we will reduce drastically the newborn deaths in the state”, he stressed.

Earlier, Chairman BASENAC Dr Robinson Yusuf, explained that concept of the meeting was to sensitize the stakeholders on the bottlenecks gaps identified as the cause of newborn deaths in the state.

“That is now a target in the SDGs for Goal 3- “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.

“Investing in newborn and child survival and the most disadvantaged is not only the right thing to do – it’s the smart thing to do,” he said.

Dr Yusuf said the committee would subsequently come up with strategies and plan that will address the issues surrounding newborn deaths in the state.

“Such as  access to well-trained midwives, along with proven solutions like clean water, disinfectants, breastfeeding within the first hour, skin-toskin contact and good nutrition.

“Others includes commodities, new equipment, knowledge and lots of others,” Dr Yusuf opined.

He however said the committee would come up with analysis, recommendations for a way forward that will provide effort to improve the health status of mothers and newborns in the state.

247ureports reports that the stakeholders ‎are Traditional and Religious leaders, Line Ministries, health related associations, Agencies and communities