Kaduna – The Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday urged the media to step-up campaign that would promote the use of neonatal commodities for newborn babies.
The ministry said that the use of such commodities would reduce mortality rate in newborn babies in the country.
Neonatal commodities means the application of appropriate use of essential medicines, medical devices and health supplies that effectively address the preventable causes of death, childbirth and childhood.
Ms Patience Madu, Health Coordinator in the ministry, stated this at a one-day advocacy campaign on “Life-saving Neonatal Commodities’’ in Kaduna.
The meeting was organised by the State Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Madu said that the media would play a vital role in educating mothers on the gap that exist in accessing neonatal commodities.
She urged media owners and reporters to constantly monitor and report on the state of neonatal commodities in their area.
“I urged you all to create and sustain awareness for proper use of neonatal commodities as well as promote existing policies and legislations on newborn babies.
“Over the last decade, progress in addressing the high rate of neonatal mortality in the country has been slow due to skills gap and poor referral network.
“It is also slow due to inadequate training, poor policy implementation and short supply of the commodities.
“There is a need to accelerate efforts toward adequate funding and effective application of life saving neonatal commodities for women and children’s health,’’ Madu said.
According to her, current evidence shows that optimal utilisation of life saving neonatal commodities will significantly reduce morbidity and mortality rate.
Madu listed preterm/low birth rate weight, birth asphyxia and infections as three major causes of neonatal mortality among newborns.
“Lack of hygiene at birth in the first week of life increases the risk of deadly but preventable infections.
“Sepsis from an infected umbilical stump is one of the primary means of infection leading to newborn deaths,’’ Madu said.
The official also listed antenatal corticosteroids that would accelerate fetal lung maturity, including injectable antibiotics for neonatal sepsis as health commodities for broader use.