Premature births and low birth weight are the two major causes of death within the first month of life. In 2014, Neonatal Asphyxia was noted by Nwafor et al* as a major cause of neonatal death (34%) at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia. The medical centre is a referral centre for state and private hospitals within the Nigerian Abia state and beyond. This rate is above the national average of 24%. It has been documented that the presence of trained personnel in all deliveries will help to reduce preventable deaths.
Neonatal resuscitation skills are extremely important in low resource settings where access to antenatal care is limited and the incidence of mortality and burden of long-term effects from birth asphyxia is high.
* Childhood Mortality in Federal Medical Centre Umuahia, South Eastern Nigeria: Nwafor Chukwuemeka Charles, Abali Chuku, Nnoli Martin Anazodo Oman Med J. 2014 Sep; 29(5): 320–324. doi: 10.5001/omj.2014.87
It is against this backdrop that the NNIA collaborated with Abia State Ministry of Health, the Vicar Hope Foundation and the Nigerian Society of Neonatal Medicine (NISONM) to organise training to build the skills of 110 Healthcare Professionals on “Essential New Born Care” and “Helping Babies Breathe” on the 18th and 19th of July in Umuahia.
Some key dignitaries at the opening ceremony included: Her Excellency, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu (Wife of the Governor of Abia State) Mr. Nkwachukwu Agomoh (Permanent Secretary, Abia State Ministry of Health), Dr John Ahukannah (Commissioner for Health fmr); and Dr Obumneme Ezeanosike (NISONM and course director).
The Chairman of the occasion Prof Chuks Kamanu(Chief Medical Director, Abia State University Teaching Hospital and others) lauded the collaboration between Abia State Government and the NNIA, while stressing that the workshop will strengthen healthcare professional capacity in neonatal care, thereby reducing infant mortality in the state.
Her Excellency, Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu, making her speech on behalf of the Vicar Hope Foundation, one of the stakeholders.
Mr. Emma Nwabuko (Principal Secretary to the Governor) delivering a speech on behalf of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State Governor.
Chioma Emma-Nwachukwu, stating NNIA’s A cross-session during the opening ceremony.
commitment to the African continent.
Practical sessions by resource personnel and hands-on demonstration by participants.
Each participant was given the Helping Babies Breathe booklet and received Certificates of Participation, while facilities were given ‘Bag and Masks’; Essential New Born Care (ENCC) and Helping Babies Breathe(HBB) Booklets as well as action plans for both HBB and ENCC.