Kaduna State Hospital lauds UNICEF’S support to strengthen oxygen ecosystem

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The Barau Dikko, Kaduna State Teaching Hospital, has commended the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the solid support to strengthen oxygen eco-system especially for newborns in the hospital. The Head of Paediatric Department in the hospital, Dr Audu Lamidi, gave the commendation on Thursday when UNICEF officials visited the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) of the hospital.

 

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Lamidi who stated that UNICEF support in human resource development on newborn care and knowledge required to take care of babies had been significantly helpful also commended the capacity building on oxygen concentrators’ administration, management and maintenance as critical to the survival of newborn.

 

He explained that the admission rate for newborn in the hospital was about 1,000 to 1,500 per annum, adding that about 70 per cent of them usually require oxygen.

He added that “it is extremely important that oxygen is available in a unit that takes care of newborn, particularly premature babies, most of whom have respiratory problems that will require the use of oxygen.

“There is also distress syndrome which is very common in premature babies. Also, babies that have infections like pneumonia need oxygen and other problems usually associated at birth.”

 

According to Dr Obinna Orjingene, the Health Specialist, UNICEF Abuja, the UNICEF had taken steps to strengthen the oxygen eco-system in the country following the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Orjingene said that the support was to ensure effective interventions in pneumonia and hypoxia management and other diseases that require oxygen.

 

He explained that UNICEF, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), FHI 360 and other partners working in the oxygen space carried out a nationwide oxygen assessment to identify the gaps and functional oxygen systems.The health specialist further said that UNICEF had so far procured over 800 oxygen concentrators for different states, adding that the measure would help significantly to improve child health outcomes across the country.

 

“We have recently procured 220 10 lpm concentrators to be delivered to nine states, among which are Bauchi, Adamawa, Borno, Cross River, Ebonyi, Ogun, Kaduna, and Kano.

“Beyond procuring the concentrator, we are also training biomedical technicians and engineers to be able to maintain the equipment.

“UNICEF is making sure that the healthcare workers have the capacity to use and maintain the equipment routinely through plan maintenance that we have instituted across the states.

“We have also built the capacity of the health workers to be able to manage pneumonia in line with the national guidelines, protocols and the new pneumonia algorithm.

“This is to ensure that the children are managed appropriately for improved outcomes,” he said.