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Samson Omotayo
July 29, 2021

The Ondo State Government has reiterated its commitment to reduce the rate of morbidity and mortality of newborns and infants in the state to the barest minimum.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Pharmacist (Mrs.) Folukemi Aladenola made the assertion in her keynote address while declaring open a 3-Day Capacity Building Workshop organised by the Department of Nursing Services of the Ministry on Neonatal Resuscitation and Newborn Care for Nurses and Midwives in Ondo State held at Sunbeth Hotel and Suites, Sijuwade, Akure.

According to her, Ondo State has recorded tremendous improvement in the health indicators in terms of morbidity and mortality rate of newborns and infants adding that the workshop will enable Nurses and Midwives to acquire the needed skills in neonatal resuscitation and care especially for the preterm and the sick newborns.

Aladenola noted that to further demonstrate his passion for a robust qualitative health care delivery in Ondo State, the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN had during his first term in office increased the number of Mother and Child Hospitals in the state from two to seven in order to take care of other Senatorial Districts that were not captured.

She said in commemoration of the First 100-Days in office of the Second Term of Governor Akeredolu, the Ministry of Health distributed health commodities to pregnant women and nursing mothers as part of efforts to reduce the death of under five children.

The Permanent Secretary charged the participants to pay attention to the contents of the lectures delivered by the facilitators at the workshop and step down their newly acquired skills at their various health facilities.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Director of Nursing Services in the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Alice Ogundele described the neonatal stage as the most vulnerable stage of life especially in the preterm and the sick newborns saying the training will enable Nurses and Midwives acquire the needed skills in neonatal resuscitation and care.

Ogundele who was represented at the workshop by the Deputy Director of Nursing Services, Mrs. Mary Aliu said the workshop which is a continuous one has greatly improved the health indicators in Ondo State in terms of morbidity and mortality rates of newborns and infants.

While appreciating the Permanent Secretary for creating an enabling environment for the workshop and for her support towards its success, Ogundele enjoined the participants to deploy the new skills acquired at the workshop to enhancing their performance at work.

In a lecture titled: "Neonatal Resuscitation and Newborn Care" delivered by the Deputy Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the Ministry of Health, Dr.(Mrs.) Kofoworola Jegede, she noted that between five and ten percent of all newborns require assistance to establish breathing at birth.

She stressed that out of 136 million births annually, an estimated 10 million will require some attention of interventions.

In another lecture titled:"Introduction to Intensive Neonatal Care Unit" delivered by a Senior Nursing Officer in the Department of Nursing Services of the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Margaret Isijola, she stated that the problem of premature and congenitally ill infants dates back to the 17th and 18th Centuries, stressing however that the 1960's were a time of rapid medical advancement particularly in respiratory support which made survival of premature babies a reality.

She stressed the need for Nurses and Midwives to acquaint themselves with the necessary skills required in managing neonatal cases.

Cross section of participants at the workshop drawn from the three Senatorial Districts of the state commended the state government for organizing the workshop adding that the new skills they acquired will be put into maximum use in the discharge of their duties.