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By Okey Sampson, Umuahia
A US-based medical team, Inspire Hope Foundation (IHF) and Abia State Office on Diaspora Issues, held a one-day workshop titled “Helping Babies Breathe” for Abia health workers selected from the 17 state LGAs.
Speaking, the team leader from the United States, Nigerian-born Dr. Chinyere Anyaogu, said the training was aimed at stopping child mortality in the state.
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The Director of the National Guidance Agency (NOA), Dr Lady Ngozi Okechukwu and the Executive Secretary of the National Primary Health Development Agency (SPHDA), Dr Chinagozi Adindu, stressed the need not only to train health workers on how to manage babies during and after birth, but also to train others.
A resource person and neonatologist from the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Dr. Ikechukwu Okonkwo said that if the babies were not breathing well, they would have a low chance of survival, pointing out that given the second position of Nigeria in terms of neonatal and antenatal figures. deaths, Abia State should rise to the challenge and intensify its efforts to address child mortality in addition to its other health sector interventions.
Another resource person and consultant from the Federal Medical Center in Asaba Delta State, Professor Angela Okolo, said that ideally a baby should not be admitted to a medical facility without or without the mother. .
Abia State Advisor to the Governor for Diaspora Issues and Special Tasks, Dr. Ngozi Ogbonna-Erondu, while assuring that the training will be extended beyond the state capital, instructed the health workers to help babies breathe.
Declaring the workshop open, the state health commissioner, Dr. Joe Osuji, represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ms. Franca Ekwuribe, said the state government has provided an enabling environment for the medical team of IHF experts from the United States and those from outside Abia State to conduct the training.
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He urged the health workers-trainees to, after the training, be more passionate in applying the knowledge acquired in their work to facilitate the reduction of the infant mortality rate.