The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) FCT chapter has trained 50 healthcare workers in the Kwali Area Council of Abuja to reduce neonatal mortality.
Dr Emeka Ayogu, the Chairman of the Organising Committee, FCT NMA, told newsmen in Abuja that the training was part of activities for the association’s 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) with the theme “Reversing Nigeria’s Health Indices: Role of Stakeholders.”
Ayogu, who stressed the need for health workers to be professional in their responsibilities, added that “training of healthcare personnel in Kwali Area Council to help babies to breath is part of our corporate social responsibility. There is an urgent need to teach medical personnel in rural areas because of high neonatal mortality in such areas. The FCT chapter of the association thought it wise to invite experts to teach health personnel on how best to take care of newborn babies.
“Even though we had organised such training in the past, we are training 50 health workers today from different healthcare facilities in Kwali Area Council. We hope to cover all the area councils in the FCT with this form of training because we believe it will go a long way to reduce the prevalence of neonatal mortality.’’
One of the training facilitators, Dr Eyinade Olateju, a Consultant Paediatrician with University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, said “Nigeria has the highest neonatal deaths in Africa and we are second in the world after India and some of the causes of these deaths are treatable and preventable. Some of the leading causes of these deaths are premature birth, fascia and infection.’’
He explained that premature birth was when babies were born before 37 weeks of gestation,
fascia was when a baby failed to breathe at birth and infection or sepsis, which could also cause neonatal death.
Another cause, he said, was severe neonatal jaundice, which may damage the brain and
lead to death.
He stressed that many health workers lacked the skill to treat babies born with such challenges, hence the need to train them for improved care and services.
He commended the FCT branch of the association for the training, saying it would go a long way in improving services in health facilities.