By Gracious George
The First Lady of Bayelsa State, Dr. Mrs Gloria Diri on Thursday recorded another milestone in the state’s health sector with the formal launch of the State Newborn Action Plan.
Represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Mrs. Pasisei Ekiomote, she stated that adequate care, provision of vitamin A, recommended vaccinations and special care during pregnancy and many other vital treatments are necessary to prevent stillbirths.
She pledged the readiness of the government to create an enabling environment for mothers and children at birth.
She noted that a sustainable process where every pregnancy is healthy, every delivery is successful, mothers and babies are safe is very important.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Inodu Apoku said that it is worrisome that each year in Nigeria, over 7,000,000 babies are born but 240,000 of these babies die in their first month and 94,000 die on the day of birth, adding that there are nearly 314,000 stillbirths.
According to him, the death rate of children in Bayelsa State is more worrisome, hence, the need for the collaboration of the Ministry of Health and the State Primary Health Care Board to strategically end preventable neonatal deaths in the state, by focusing on quality of care at birth.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Orientation and Strategy, Mrs. Jane Help Yawei promised the Ministry’s support to ensure effective information dissemination to community level.
The UNICEF representatives, Dr Abbe Egha and Prof. Edward Aleko, represented by Dr. Timipa West, from the Pediatric Association in their goodwill messages noted that their mandate is to support government and other medical associations reduce death rate at birth to the minimal.