60% of new-born deaths due to infections
Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses, Child Health Coordinator at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), on Monday said slow progress has been made as regards new-born health.
She said statistics indicated that as at 2011 for every 1,000 births, 320 of the new-born died, and expressed the need for Ghana to implement Global Action Plan to improve child health.
The Global Action Plan is a World Health Organization’s strategy that focuses attention on new-born health, identifying actions for their survival, health and development.
Dr Sagoe-Moses made the remarks when she made a presentation on the current situation of new-born health in Ghana at the second Annual Stakeholders’ Meeting.
The meeting, which seeks to accelerate new-born health care interventions in Ghana, brought together health professionals throughout the country to look at best practises and share positive examples of child health care.
Enumerating the causes of new-born deaths, she said about 60 per cent were due to infections, and noted that 50 per cent of new-born deaths occur within 24 hours of delivery while 75 per cent occurs in the first week of delivery.
She explained that most of the deaths were preventable, especially infections, and mentioned that people used herbal concoctions and powder, which could be contaminated and affect the new-born.
“A major cause of new-born death can also be attributed to home deliveries,” she added
Dr Sagoe-Moses also expressed worry about patronage of exclusive breastfeeding and explained that the programme was launched in 1993, but now many mothers do not practise exclusive breastfeeding
“The Ghana Health Service is going to re-launch the exclusive breastfeed programme next month,” reminding organizations to provide baby-friendly environment to enable nursing mothers continue with their breastfeeding.