Infant Mortality: Cross River deploys digital incubators to hospitals
Eme Offiong, Calabar
Poised to enhance child survival rate in rural communities, the Ministry of Health has distributed digital incubators and phototherapy machines to general hospitals in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.
Dr. Betta Edu, the Cross River Commissioner for Health, distributed the machines at the launch of “Every Newborn Action Plan” a document designed with the goal of reducing maternal and infant mortality.
Mitigating child mortality
Edu stated that the rate of maternal and infant mortality, particularly as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, was alarming in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The goal is to strategically reduce, by 50 percent, the number of newborns deaths in Cross River. We are taking proactive measures not just launching a policy and go to sleep. But, we will match words with actions and that is why we have handed over several incubators and phototherapy machines to general hospitals.
This would be used in the management of premature babies or neonatal jaundice. Most general Hospitals, especially those outside the capital city did not have any phototherapy machine or incubator, a situation, which resulted to the deaths of premature or jaundiced babies,” stated Edu.
The Health Commissioner further explained that health workers across the general hospitals would be trained on how to utilize the machines and provide the relevant care in line with the policy.
“our health workers will be trained on Newborn care. I must emphasize that the enrollment of our people and implementation of the state’s health insurance scheme will further protect newborns, pregnant women and children under five”.
In a remark at the event, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, the Director General of the state’s Primary Healthcare Development Agency Said they are committed to the implementation of the action plan.
Ekpenyong pledged that workers at primary healthcare centres would participate in the training stressing, “they have to know when to refer patients, who might need more specialized care to the General Hospital”.
Responding to the gesture, the Medical Superintendent of the General Hospital Calabar, Dr. Kumah acknowledged the Cross River Government’s effort in providing affordable and quality healthcare services to the people and for transformations in the sector.
The “Every Newborn Action Plan” featured contributions from renowned gynecologist, Professor Mabel Ekott and Dr. Emmanuel Adams of the Cross River State Pediatric committee.