By: Luka Daniel (Bauchi),
THE United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Bauchi field office Chief, Mr Bahnu Pathak has disclosed that UNICEF in collaboration with European Union (EU) and the Bauchi state government is determined to tackle incidents of new born death in the state.
The UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office Chief stated this at a two days stakeholders engagement meeting for “Situation Analysis on Newborn Heath” on Thursday in Bauchi.
“Unicef and Bauchi State Government, with the support of European Union (EU) have reaffirmed their commitment to tackle the newborn, born death in the state”, Pathak said.
Adding that, “Bauchi State Government has made significant progress in fighting deaths of children below five years. We want to joined hands and support the state in fighting the newborn deaths”.
The UNICEF boss said, “Still there were some challenges that need to be resolved. 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 make a preventable, newborn deaths”.
“Newborn deaths is alarming in the state, that called for action”, this was the assertion of Mr Oluseyi Olusunde, the UNICEF Health Officer Bauchi in his remark.
According to him, “out of every 1000 newborn, 161 are likely to die before their fifth birthday in Bauchi this is far above SDG 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,” he said
According to him, that is why the state government inaugurated a committee called Bauchi State Every Newborn Action Committee (BASENAC) in line with the five points agenda of the state government to fast track implementation of policies that prevents newborn deaths.
Earlier, while speaking, the Chairman BASENAC Dr Robinson Yusuf, said the 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 well being 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 equipments, knowledge and lots of others,” Dr Yusuf said.
He however said the committee would come up with analysis, recommendations for a way forward that will provide monumental effort to improve the health status of mothers and newborns in the state.