No fewer than one million premature babies die annually due to complications, the founder of Abiye Maternal and Child Health International Foundation (AMCH), Dr Elizabeth Disu, has said.
Disu, according to a statement on Wednesday, stated this at the AMCH World Prematurity Day celebration in Ikeja, Lagos, adding that prematurity was one of the leading causes of newborn deaths in the world.
“Prematurity is the most single cause of newborns deaths. About 15 million preterm babies are delivered worldwide, out of which one million die and three quarters of the deaths are preventable. Most of these deaths are in the developing countries.
“Nigeria has the highest number of preterm babies and the highest number of newborn deaths in the world. If preterm babies survived, we will be able to reduce the rate of neonatal deaths in this country,” she said.
Disu explained that the World Prematurity Day was celebrated worldwide to bring awareness about babies that were born prematurely, adding that the babies had special problems and needs, as they could end up with disabilities if not properly managed.
Also speaking, Prof. Omotunde Sagoe, a professor of primatology, said, “Prematurity is a mixed situation because the babies come out of the womb before the duration. Many of them come out dead and many also come out alive. To reduce incidence of premature babies and their deaths in Nigeria, their cases have to be managed properly.”
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, said the government was desirous of reducing deaths of preterm babies in the state.
Idris, who was represented by Dr Victoria Omoera, of the Maternal and Prenatal Deaths Surveillance and Response unit, Ministry of Health, said, “We want our mothers and children to survive. We need to build up capacity in terms of personnel to take care of these babies.”
The Punch News