Health News of 2014-07-30

Ghana to organise meeting to address new-born health

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) will organise a stakeholders meeting on Wednesday to create awareness about the state of new-born babies in Ghana.

A statement issued in Accra by Offeibea Baddoo, UNICEF Communication Specialist and copied to the GNA, stated that the meeting would also share best strategies to reduce new-born deaths.

It said the meeting would be preceded by an executive national forum where support from across diverse discipline would be sourced and a strategy to drive the acceleration of quality new born health care in Ghana launched.

According to the statement, one new born child dies every 15 minutes in Ghana, in a year 30,000 new born deaths are recorded and these deaths make up 40% of the under-five mortality in Ghana.

The statement described the deaths as unnecessary as three out of the four children who die each hour could be saved through simple, effective and low-cost interventions.

“Infections (31%) preterm and low birth weight (29%), and complications including asphyxia (breathing difficulty 27&) make up over three fourth (87%) of the causes of new-born deaths in Ghana,” it said.

The statement suggested that proven low-cost interventions such as keeping the baby warm, early initiation of breastfeeding at birth, exclusive breast feeding, timely management of infections and hygienic umbilical cord care were simple ways that could save the lives of the new born.

“As many as 24,000 new born babies in Ghana can be saved annually using these low-cost interventions,” the statement said.

It said deaths of the new-born in Ghana over the last 10 years had remained unchanged.

Source: GNA
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