The Provost, College of Health Sciences, Igbinedion University, Prof. Dominic Osaghae has raised an alarm over the increasing death rate among new born babies in Nigeria.
Professor Osaghae who condemned the trend during the monthly seminar organised by the Institute of Child Care, University of Benin, (UNIBEN) and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, (UBTH) with the theme, “small actions, Big Impact” in Benin City, said the increasing death rate among new borns was unacceptable.
According to him, most of the affected babies are those delivered outside the hospital environment and such delivery centers should be targeted and educated on the importance of the skin to skin care for every baby.
Osaghae, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said:”Nigeria is leading with the high death rate among new born children in the world and the skin to skin care has the potential to reduce the death rate.
While commending the Institute of Child Health for upholding the long term tradition of educating the public, Prof. Osaghae, Medical director, Modic Hospital Benin, noted that the skin to skin care after delivery should be made part of antenatal care.
The Chairman of the seminar with the topic, Immediate Skin to Skin Care for Every baby Every where, Prof. Charles Eregie urged policy makers to recognise the significance of Skin to Skin care and provide the basic environment.
“Since 2008 we have been speaking on the issue of pre-term babies, to ensure care for them. Seventy-five percent of the causes are preventable with small actions Big Impact. Immediate skin to skin care is essential for every baby and none should be discriminated against,” he said.
Another speaker, Dr. Ani said around the world today, preterm is the leading cause of death of new born babies, adding that the first embrace with the parent is very important.
According to him, the World Health Organisation, (WHO) and the United Nations Children Education Fund, (UNICEF) advocate for immediate skin to skin care, referred to as the magical hour, golden hour or sacred hour.
He said it is important for mothers to practice skin to skin care because there are physiological benefits to baby and mother when the baby is placed on the mothers chest after delivery.
The Director, Institute of Child Health, UNIBEN/UBTH, Prof. A.E Sadoh disclosed that the best incubator for the baby is between the mother’s breast and that among other benefits, it regulates the baby’s temperature.