Accra, Ms Susan N. Ngongi, a UNICEF representative in Ghana says many deaths could be avoided by simple practices such as hand washing with soap and water, exclusive breastfeeding and keeping the newborn warm.
Ms Susan N. Ngongi, a UNICEF representative in Ghana says many deaths could be avoided by simple practices such as hand washing with soap and water, exclusive breastfeeding and keeping the newborn warm.
“Mothers and caregivers of preterm babies are also psychologically affected from the pain, stigma and stress that bearing a preterm presents,” she added.
Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), a simple but proven method that saves preterm babies was introduced at the event.
KMC is said to significantly reduced complications due to prematurity such as hypothermia (low body temperature) and reduced the risk of death by 50 per cent.
A statement issued in Accra and copied to Ghana News Agency said Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses, Deputy Director of Reproductive and Child Health at the Ghana Health Service (GES) said: “KMC is a cost-effective intervention that supports preterm babies to survive, but the emotional support that caregivers require from health workers and family members contributes to make a difference.”
Prematurity and associated complications account for about a third of all newborn deaths in Ghana.
UNICEF data estimates show that about 128,000 babies were born prematurely in Ghana and an estimated 8,300 under five deaths in 2015 were associated to prematurity.
Preterm babies are highly susceptible to difficulty in breathing and infections, which are significant threats to their lives.
Moreover, preterm infants who survive often have significant health problems such as poor growth, disorders of cognitive development and other long-term health and developmental challenges among others.
UNICEF representatives in Ghana pledged to continue working with the GHS and the Pediatric Society of Ghana to harness multi-stakeholder support towards accelerating the achievement of the global goal to end preventable newborn and child deaths by 2030.
Source: Ghana News Agency