‘Govts Investment in Hospitals Crucial to Sustaining Treatment of Premature Infants’

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The Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Dr. Olatunde Alabi, has urged governments at various levels to invest and sustain support for the activities of hospitals in the management of premature babies.

Alabi gave the advice on Wednesday at a programme organised by the Neonatology Unit, Department of Paediatrics of FMCL, as part of the activities to celebrate the ”World Prematurity Day 2021”.

According to him, governments need to support the activities of the various hospitals by making sure that investment in the management of premature infants is sustained.

He noted that the unit managing premature infants at FMCL remained the only standard centre offering special care to the newborn in Kogi.

He added that the unit had well-qualified consultants and specialised nurses that effectively managed premature babies, including training and retraining of medical officers.

He, however, stressed the need for governments to support the activities of various hospitals in making sure that investment in the management of premature infants was improved and sustained.

“If the government can give us more support, it will go a long way because to keep premature infants alive is very expensive.

“We cannot keep our eyes away from them because these infants are eventually our future investment and we have to take very good care of them,” Alabi said.

Earlier, Dr. Patricia Medupin, a Consultant Paediatrician, and head of the newborn special care unit in FMCL said the theme for the 2021 world premature day is ”Zero Separation: Act Now”.

Medupin said the unit at FMCL had been able to effectively and successfully manage the treatment of premature babies despite the various challenges experienced over the years.

She explained that the average survival rate among premature babies at FMCL over the last five years was 66.8 per cent, while the average mortality was 24.6 per cent.

She noted that the current national mortality rate was 32 per cent, stressing that FMCL was doing a little better than the national rate despite the challenges.

She emphasised that zero separation was possible if the necessary facilities were put in place.

In separate comments, Mrs. Blessing Balogun and Mrs. Margaret Olorunmosunle, who had premature babies, commended the management of FMCL for the care and support given to them and their babies.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that World Prematurity Day is observed every November 17, to raise awareness about pre-term births. 

(NAN)

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