BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
The Bayelsa State government yesterday said the death of 3,500 babies out of 64,000 deliveries in first month of life from preventable causes was worrisome and unacceptable.
The commissioner for Health, Dr Pabara Igwele, stated this in Yenagoa, during the ministry’s launch of Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP), in collaboration with the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
Igwele, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Inodu Apoku, said that about 3,500 newborns died in their first month of life in the state from preventable causes
He noted that it was one of the highest in the South-South region.
He said: “In 2008 for instance, Bayelsa state had 64,000 babies delivered, out of which 3,500 died in their first month of life. At the time, Bayelsa had the highest under-5 mortality rate in the South south of the country with 95 deaths per 1,000 live births.
“At present, when compared with the 2011 records, there has been a marked improvement on the number of under-5 mortality.
“In spite of this, the decline in new-born mortality rate has been considerably low as new-born deaths still account for 31 per cent of the total child mortality.
“The percentage of deaths is becoming very embarrassing and in the South south, Bayelsa state is the worst and they die from preventable causes”.
The commissioner said the call to action which made available a framework for the development of the Nigerian Every Newborn Action Plan (NiENAP) provided the platform for situational analysis into newborn health in the state.