90% of newborn deaths preventable–Expert

A professor of Paediatrics, Chinyere Ezeaka, has said that about 90 per cent of causes of newborn deaths in Nigeria are preventable.
Ezeaka, who works at the Department of Paediatrics, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, said this in an interview with New Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Ibadan.
According to her, the major contributors to neonatal deaths in the country include infections, prematurity, neonatal jaundice and birth asphyxia.
She said: “The rate of neonatal death in our country is unacceptable, out of a thousand live births, 37 of these newborns die within the first month of life.
“What makes it even disturbing is that 90 per cent of the causes of these deaths are preventable and everyone from the mother to the healthcare provider must be involved to reverse this trend.
“When babies are born premature and are not breathing, the attending healthcare provider must know what to do to help the baby breathe and provide respiratory support to prevent brain damage.
“Breastfeeding within the first hour of birth provides the first immunisation for the baby.
“We cannot but stress the importance of hygiene which includes regular hand washing with soap and water when taking care of a newborn.”
The paediatrician reiterated the importance of trained skilled attendants in taking delivery in case of emergency cases.