By Chioma Obinna
A new United Nations, UN, report has shown that nearly 30 million babies are born too soon, too small or become sick every year and require specialised care to survive.
The report is coming one year after United Nation Children Fund, UNICEF report disclosed that nearly 10 per cent of new-born deaths in 2016 occurred in Nigeria.
The report carried out by a global coalition including UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, WHO, entitled: ‘Survive and Thrive: Transforming care for every small and sick new born,’ found that babies with complications from being born premature, or suffering brain injury during childbirth, severe bacterial infection or jaundice, risk death and disability.
Reacting to the report, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Omar Abdi noted that the right care at the right time in the right place can make a difference in the lives of babies and their mothers.
Abdi regretted that: “Yet, millions of small and sick babies and women are dying every year because they simply do not receive the quality care that is their right, and our collective responsibility.”
The report further found that among the newborn babies most at risk of death and disability were those with complications from prematurity, brain injury during childbirth, severe bacterial infection or jaundice, and those with congenital conditions.
It further noted that the financial and psychological toll on their families can have detrimental effects on their cognitive, linguistic and emotional development.
Also, Deputy Director General for Programmes, WHO, Dr Soumya Swaminathan said: “For every mother and baby, a healthy start from pregnancy through childbirth and the first months after birth is essential.