Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa with highest number of newborn deaths, official said.
This was made known by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in its presentation during a two day workshop on Media Engagement On Dissemination of “Facts For Life” messages, on Wednesday.
In her presentation, UNICEF resource person, Mrs. Tamani Yusuf said, “Nigeria has one of the highest numbers of newborn deaths in Africa, with a neonatal mortality rate of 37 per 1, 000 live births and approximately 250, 000 deaths occurring every year.”
According to her, one in every 15 babies born in Nigeria will die before their first birthday and about one in eight before their fifth birthday”.
She explained that, if Nigeria is desirous of meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), then more attention should be given to newborns; as over 80 percent of the under five deaths are from preventable causes. She further stressed that, expectant and nursing mothers as well as caregivers should be encouraged to embrace correct practices that could guarantee sound health.
Some of the factors responsible for the deterioration of child health as quoted from the “Fact for Life” messages, Tamani said they include; “Malnutrition, a high incidence of diseases, inappropriate household caring practices, poor environmental/living conditions and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”
Amongst the right practices to be promoted to guarantee health for newborn babies, are exclusive breastfeeding, provision of quality health care and good nutrition, she added.