As the world marks the 2019 World Prematurity Day (WPD), experts have advised government and parents with preterm babies to adopt strategies that would help prevent deaths.
The experts gave the advice during a WPD Walk and Preterm Party organised by Outreach Women and Children’s Hospital, Festac Town in Lagos on Sunday.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that WPD is marked globally on Nov. 17, annually, to call attention to the heavy burden of death and disability, pain and suffering that preterm births cause.
The theme for 2019 is: ‘Born too Soon: Providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place.’
A premature birth is one which occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
The Chief Operating Officer of the Hospital, Dr Segun Ebitanmi, said the Walk was to inform the populace about the solutions available to reduce the deaths and sufferings for preterm babies.
“One out of 10 babies born is premature and one out of four will die.
“These children don’t need to die because there are ways and techniques, tools and technologies that can be used to keep them alive,” he said.
Also, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Efunbo Dosekun, noted that the burden might be more in Nigeria, considering that preterms born in home-based care were not usually accounted for.
Efunbo added that innovations in neonatal service delivery were already being adopted in developed countries for the care of preterm babies.
She urged governments to work with specialists in the private sector so that the health system could be more responsive to the needs of babies born prematurely.
“Science has created devices, strategies that can help these babies live and it’s high time we imbibe it; because they are born too early does not mean they should die.
“We need to be able to rise to this challenge, other countries that are not so well endowed as Nigeria have been able to have better outcomes,” she said.
One of the participants, Ms Aramide Shokunbi, a marketer, said the Walk gave her hope for families with preterm babies because of the solutions available to them.
“I met a woman during the Walk who is a survivor, she was born prematurely though she said her twin died.
“I think it’s because of the time she was born. Now the world is evolving and there are equipments that can help preterm babies survive,” she told NAN.
Mrs Aisha Abari, a mother whose baby was born prematurely, said it wasn’t easy for her watching her baby passed through all the pain she did but expressed joy in being able to take her baby home.
According to her, she had a history of miscarriage, so abstained from sexual intercourse during pregnancy and had a cerclage – a surgical procedure to stitch the cervix to prevent miscarriage – but still had her baby at 29 weeks.
“During the pregnancy, I would go to the hospital for every little pain; I was very careful and so sure nothing would go wrong but at the end of the day, it still happened,” she said.
Abari advised parents with premature babies to ensure they go to a good hospital with specialists and keep praying.
According to UNICEF, every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely, more than one in 10 of all babies worldwide and one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of five.
About 75 per cent of fatalities are preventable if adequate care is given in terms of information and treatment.
Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) noted that babies born too early may face long-term health problems that affect the brain, lungs, hearing or vision.
Edited by Wale Ojetimi
Borno Govt. registers tricycle operators to checkmate bad elements
The Borno Government on Tuesday said it would commence the registration of tricycle operators in the state, to sanitise the system of bad elements.
The state Commissioner of Transport, Dr Abubakar Tijjani, disclosed this during a meeting with leaders of commercial tricycle operators union, in Maiduguri.
Tijjani said that the biometric registration exercise would also assist the government in maintaining security in the state.
He said that the move was part of the proactive measures to restructure the transport system for better services to the people.
Tijjani said that the ministry would kick start the exercise on Wednesday at three VIO Offices located opposite Ramat Polytechnic, Baga road and Custom area in Maiduguri.
The commissioner said that at the end of the exercise, operators that failed to register would not be allowed to operate in the state, and urged the union to support the exercise.
Yusuf Hayatudeen, the Chief Executive Officer, Bexil Computer and Solution Limited, the company handling the registration, said that forms would be made available at designated centers, adding that 700 persons would be registered daily.
In his remarks, Director Transport of the ministry, Baba-Gana Moruma, emphasised the need to maintain all the COVID -19 safety measures while carrying out the exercise.
“The registration is free of charge and it is expected to start on June 17,” he said.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Kano State Govt. conducts 8,273 COVID-19 samples test
Kano State Government says it has conducted 8, 273 coronavirus (COVID-19) samples test
since the outbreak of the pandemic in the state in April.
The Kano State Ministry of Health disclosed this via its official Twitter handle @KNSMOH on Tuesday.
It noted that “a total of 8,273 samples of COVID-19 were tested in Kano State.”
It disclosed that 21 new confirmed cases of the virus were recorded and 32 patients discharged in the state as at Monday, June 15.
Accordingly, the state had so far recorded a total of 1,158 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which, 450 were active cases, 658 discharged and 50 deaths.
The ministry urged residents of the state to observe safety protocols, personal hygiene, and use face mask, hand washing, as well as social distancing to
stem further spread of the pandemic.
It also provided toll free numbers: 0909 399 5333; 0909 399 5444, 0800 268 4356.
Edited By: HadizaMohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Lockdown: Kaduna Govt re-opens state boundaries
The Kaduna State Government has directed the removal of roadblocks at all the state boundaries.
The government ordered relevant agencies to dismantle and relocate the barricades that enforced the ban on interstate travels.
The directive is contained in a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, to Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i, on Monday in Kaduna.
The government also said that boundary patrols undertaken by state government officials as part of the quarantine regulations be stopped forthwith.
“Clearly, the prohibition of interstate travel by the Federal Government as part of COVID-19 containment efforts has largely been breached by the people charged with enforcing it.
“These decisions are based on the recommendation of the State Taskforce on COVID-19, following a review of the situation of the state boundaries, as the state emerges from partial lockdown.
‘’The state government has received reports of persistent extortion of vehicles conveying essential goods by some security officials, thus complicating an already challenging period,’’ it stated.
The statement said that the state taskforce on COVID-19 noted that the prohibition of interstate travels had been consistently implemented only when state government officials were deployed to the entry points.
‘’While it is insufficient to stop the influx of persons, these exertions by senior officials were a necessary sacrifice to help reduce the chances of COVID-19 spread through interstate travels,’’ it added.
The government revealed that some officials on boundary duty, consistently reported lacklustre or perfunctory cooperation by security agencies in enforcing the interstate travel ban.
It noted that while non-essential travel had been wantonly indulged at the state boundaries, there were reports of continued extortion by some security agents of vehicles transporting essentials goods.
’The conduct of such officials is also jeopardising the timely and cost-effective delivery of essential goods.
’Therefore, the Kaduna state government has directed that roadblocks at state boundaries be dismantled.
“Henceforth, the only roadblocks authorised within the state are those that are mounted to enforce the 8 p.m to 5 a.m curfew,’’ the statement read in part.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Abia Govt. declares Aba epicentre of Coronavirus, to monitor churches, mosques — Kalu
Abia Government has declared Aba, the state’s commercial hub, a red zone and epicentre of Coronavirus following the number of positive samples emanating from the city.
Chief Okeiyi Kalu, Abia Information Commissioner, disclosed this on Monday while answering questions during a phone-in programme on COVID-19 update in the state.
Abia which recorded 15 new cases on Sunday moved to the 16th position, with 166 confirmed infections, on the log of states with highest Coronavirus cases in Nigeria.
Out of this number only three persons were reportedly nursed back to health and released from isolation centre which Kalu said compounded Abia’s case with very few spaces left for confirmed cases.
Kalu decried Aba residents’ non-challant attitude to the pandemic adding that they vehemently refused obeying governments’ directives on COVID-19 including wearing of face masks and observing of social/physical distancing.
He said such attitude threw the city into a grave danger.
He also blamed churches and mosques for refusing to adhere to simple directives or telling adherents what was right to do.
The commissioner noted that report coming from Aba Central Mosque, on Hospital road, was very dangerous and worrisome for everyone in the COVID-19 era.
He said that Abia Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 had directed the Aba South Local Government Transition Committee Chairman to directly enforce regulations at the mosque on Friday and during other prayer sessions.
Kalu further said that many health workers in Aba might have been infected with Coronavirus as a result of attending to infected people unknowingly without full protection.
“At the moment, Abia is having more samples than any other state in the South East which is good, because unless we identify where this problem is coming from, we may not be able to deal with it.
“We’ve done our mapping by local government and one thing is clear, majority of the new cases are coming from the Aba area and it’s alarming.
“It looks like all the sensitisation, all the efforts made by the media, have not worked because Aba people continued to violate the regulations with regard to face masks wearing, and social distancing.
“The churches are part of the problem. It looks like Aba is a red location for COVID-19 infection and all hands should be on deck now to stop the spread there,” he said.
Kalu expressed regrets that people were busy endangering their lives and others instead of working together to stop the spread of the virus.
He said that the facts emanating from the level of infection of health workers in the city were disturbing hence the government’s unwillingness to unveil all the facts.
“The rate of infection of medical workers in Aba is very high, which means that a lot of COVID-19 patients are presenting themselves to hospitals and our medics are attending to them without full protection,” he said.
Edited By: Chidi Opara/Donald Ugwu (NAN)