A professor of paediatrics at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Chinyere Ezeaka, has listed prematurity, infections as some of the causes of neonatal deaths. Ezeaka said this at an event organised by the paediatrics department, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, to commemorate the 2020 World Prematurity Day.
She said the difficulty in breathing could also lead to newborn deaths. The theme of the event is, ‘Together for Babies Born Too Soon: Caring for the Future’.
These three conditions contribute up to 80 percent of deaths in the newborn.
Why are we worried about the deaths of newborns in Nigeria, the Millennium Development Goals have passed and now we are looking at the Sustainable Development Goals.
The newborns contribute up to 32 per cent of all the deaths in the under-five; so when we talk about under-five mortality and morbidity, we should know that they include deaths within the newborn period.
These are the neonatal period. These are the babies in the first month, the first 28 days of life and they take a big toll in these under-five deaths.
Unless we tackle these problems, we may not be able to achieve the SDGs which are within the next 10 years,’’
She added that the 2030 projections had shown that unless Nigeria expedites reorientation to reduce deaths within the newborn period, it may not attain the goals.
The professor of paediatrics said the management of premature babies starts right from the deliveries.
This section takes a lot of planning and dedication, starting with working very closely with the obstetrics departments who are with the mother. And working together to be sure that the mother is okay,