Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Home > Counties > Counties urged to invest in neonatal units  

Counties urged to invest in neonatal units  

The national government has urged counties to prioritize investing in newborn baby units to support equipment, commodities, and training personnel to provide comprehensive newborn care and reduce the neonatal mortality rate.

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha said the government is committed to reducing the neonatal mortality rate of 21 deaths per 1,000 live births to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of less than 12 deaths per 1000 live births by 2030.

The CS said Friday in a speech read on her behalf by Director General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth at Makueni Mother and Child Hospital in Wote, during National World Prematurity Day Celebrations.

“We are therefore calling upon all counties to prioritize investment in new-born support equipment, commodities, and trained personnel to effectively manage babies in the New-born Units,” said Nakhumicha

The CS said in collaboration with partners, the MOH has supported equipping 17 hospital New newborn units in 14 counties towards meeting the global Every Newborn Action Plan target of having 80 percent of counties with at least one specialized newborn unit.

“The equipped newborn units can provide comprehensive newborn care including thermal care in Kangaroo Mother Care for all preterm and low birth weight neonates,” she said.

The newborn units will also have assisted feeding and intravenous (IV) fluids, safe administration of Oxygen, and Management of preterm respiratory distress with Continuous Positive Air Pressure machines (CPAP) among others.

She said these services will not only lead to reduced mortality in premature babies but also all other sick and small newborns.

The MoH has also developed and trained health workers on various guidelines for the management of newborns.

“Today, I am happy to share that the ministry has finalized the development of the Guidelines for the management of Apnoea of Prematurity using Caffeine Citrate and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). Caffeine citrate is a key drug in the management of Apnoea of prematurity. I want to thank the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) for supporting the efforts for successful negotiation for the 70 percent reduction in access price for caffeine citrate in Kenya,” said Nakhumicha.

She lauded CHAI for donating 16,700 ampoules of caffeine citrate which will increase the availability of the drug from 19 percent in the public sector to more than 50 percent.

“Also, through private sector engagement, Ethypharm is donating an additional 10,000 ampoules of caffeine citrate and essential equipment for use in newborn units, such as syringe pumps and pulse oximeters. This will go hand in hand with the launch of the guidelines on the management of Apnoea of Prematurity and follow-up training of Health Care Workers,” she added.

Makueni County will benefit from 2,000 ampoules of caffeine citrate to boost newborn care in the county.

The county has trained 25 healthcare workers who offer Kangaroo Mother Care for pre-term babies in six health facilities.

Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior urged the national government to subsidize the cost of the equipment and machines that are used in the neonatal units.

“As a country, we must change how we treat newborn units by allocating enough space for the unit, when you visit any public hospital you will find only a small room is considered for neonatal units after setting aside other big spaces for other services,” said Mutula.

Ronald Rono and Elizabeth Mutiso

Leave a Reply