The United Nations Children’s Fund has restated its commitment to partner with the Lagos State government to ensure that every newborn survives and thrives in the state.
UNCEF Chief field officer in Nigeria, Celine Lafoucriere, disclosed this at the inauguration and dissemination of the Lagos State Every Newborn Action Plan on Tuesday.
She said UNICEF would support the action plan on the budget implementation with the aim to address the Sustainable Development Goals 3.2 of the United Nations.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the SDG 3.2 targets newborn and child mortality to end preventable deaths of newborns and children fewer than five years of age by 2030, globally.
UNICEF with the title; “Situation of Women and Children in Nigeria”, states that the country records 576 maternal mortality per 100,000 live births, while approximately 262,000 babies die at birth every year.
She said, “UNICEF is always on the side of Lagos State Government, the Action Plan is an important step to ensure that newborns do not only survive but also strive.
“The implementation of this action plan is very vital and that is why UNICEF will be supporting the government on the budget implementation, making sure that the budget is release to address and deploy the Action Plan.
“The health facilities are equipped with what they need to function effectively and ensure proper training for health personnel to care properly for newborn.
“Community health workers must very active and ensure that every pregnant woman knows the facilities and health insurance available to them.”
Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, said the action plan was the strategy of the government to accelerate the reduction of preventable newborn death and still birth.
Ogboye said the action plan was put together to scale-up interventions that would serve as a concerted effort, translating to global and national commitment into meaningful gain for newborn.
”The Lagos State government developed this action plan in line with the United Nations Every Newborn Action Plan and the state strategic health development plan to improve neonatal care.
”The high contribution of neonatal deaths and prenatal deaths to the burden of deaths in Nigeria highlights the need for implementation for impactful interventions targeted at all newborn survival.
”All stakeholders must come together to accelerate the reduction of newborn, still births and deaths of children under the age of five years.” he said.
The permanent secretary also said that the state would continue to engage with professional bodies and the private health sector among others to achieve set targets.
Speaking also, Director of Family Health and Nutrition, state Ministry of Health, Dr Folasade Oludara, said the state’s action plan would harness available resource to improve neonatal care.
Oludara said that equality was also factored to include everyone irrespective of their financial status in the action plan.
She said,” If we follow this policy guidelines, the strategies identified therein, disseminate it as swift as possible, it will help us to achieve better care for our babies.
“It will also bring the people in the insurance system to ensure that we have a wider coverage so that babies will not die needlessly if we can provide for them.