Saving Newborn Lives in Nigeria: Newborn health in the context of the Integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Strategy
Publisher/Organizer: Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria, with the support of Saving Newborn Lives/Save the Children US. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the US Agency for International Development
Publication date: 2011
Number of pages: 120
New data shows that as the death toll in Nigeria is falling, the percentage of deaths that happen in the first month of life is increasing. Newborn deaths now make up 28% of all deaths under five years compared to 24% two years ago. Six out of 10 mothers give birth at home without access to skilled care during childbirth and it is in the first few days of life when both women and newborns are most at risk.
Every year 241,000 babies die in the first month of life in Nigeria making it the African country with the highest newborn death toll, a new Ministry of Health report, Saving Newborn Lives in Nigeria, revealed today.
The report calls for an increased focus on reducing newborn deaths, the vast majority of which are avoidable. It says thousands of newborn lives can be saved via simple methods, such as teaching mothers about danger signs, encouraging them to seek help early and making sure there is enough medicine and enough healthcare workers at community health centres. The policies are mostly in place and the cost is affordable so now priority must be given to implementing these policies and making sure all families receive essential care.