Health Commissioner Pushes For Rebirth of Quality Health Care In Cross River To Reduce ‘Newborn Mortality’


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Health Commissioner Pushes For Rebirth of Quality Health Care In Cross River To Reduce ‘Newborn Mortality’




The alarmingly high maternal and newborn mortality rate is one of the major challenges in the Nigerian health sector, with Nigeria having the worst indicators in sub-Saharan Africa.

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The image is the same in many states of the federation. However, by introducing a useful bottom-up approach to saving lives, the Cross River State has agreed to take the bull by the horn to reduce these preventable deaths. This was the strong message from Dr. Betta Edu, the Honorable Commissioner for Health, when she introduced the “Every Newborn Action Plan” to minimize the state’s newborn mortality.

The aim is to strategically reduce the number of newborn deaths in the state by 50 percent over the next year, Dr Edu said. “As the proactive leadership style of Governor Ben Ayade is, we’re not just going to launch a policy and go to sleep, or leave the books on the shelf, we’re going to match words with deeds, which is why we’ve bought and handed over multiple incubators and phototherapy machines to state general hospitals. Before this time, our General Hospitals did not have usable incubators that can be used in premature baby management, most did not have phototherapy devices that resulted in the death of many of these premature babies and babies suffering from neonatal jaundice; the statistics for newborn mortality increased more. We are grateful that we will enhance the quality of treatment and bring solutions to the framework. Newborn Care will educate our health professionals as we work together to increase the state’s infant survival rate. In addition, Cross Riverians’ registration and introduction of the State Health Insurance System would further protect newborns as pregnant women and under fives will be protected under the scheme free of charge.

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Dr Janet Ekpeyong, DG PHCDA, also made a firm commitment to the complete implementation of the State Action Plan for Newborns. Noting that primary level health staff will be mobilized and equipped to enhance prenatal care, thus referring to the General Hospital for patients who may need more intensive care such as premature or jaundiced infants. In the same way, Dr. Ushie SA Health and the Health Special Assistant vowed to work closely with the Ministry to accomplish set goals.

The policy strategy with contributions and analysis by SOGON CRS Chairman Prof. Mabel Ekott, Dr. Emmanuel Adams, CRS Pediatric Committee, congratulated the State on taking the first step in the right direction to get a plan! The government, however, called for the complete implementation of this great plan to save the lives of newborns in the state to be accelerated.

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Dr Kumah, Medical Superintendent of the Calabar General Hospital, thanked the state for the rapid change taking place in the health sector. In addition to the update taking place across many state General Hospitals, he said the state has procured equipment that will enhance the standard of care given. “He noted that the hospital did not have a functional incubator before now, this would change the game for us in newborn care across the general hospitals “with the environments created by the State Ministry of Health, health workers are driven to do better”

Bar was among the others who contributed. Takon Asu, PS, SMOH, Chairman of Private Hospital Practitioners, IPPS; Dr. Joseph Bassey, Dr. Iwara Iwara, Directors of PHC, Pediatricians and other specialists; pledging full support for the development of a more resilient state health system.

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Health Commissioner Pushes For Rebirth of Quality Health Care In Cross River To Reduce ‘Newborn Mortality’



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