Paediatricians and neonatal experts on Friday recommended strengthening the existing healthcare facilities and resources across the country to provide newborns with quality health services, especially of poor families, from the beginning at home.
This was one of the 10-point recommendations adopted at the concluding session of the first three-day international conference of the Bangladesh Neonatal Forum.
Home is the place where we must intervene as most neonatal deaths occur at home, especially in poor families, in the first hours and first week of life, Nazmun Nahar, the chief adviser to the organisation, said in a keynote paper. The organisation president, Kishwar Azad, echoed Nazmun Nahars views.
Stressing the need for making institutional delivery services available to the poorest, paediatrician MQK Talukder said newborns in the poorest families die at home in far-flung areas. �The mother in such families cannot afford to get institutional delivery services.
Expressing his frustration at the state of public healthcare services and programmes, he said the country had an excellent healthcare infrastructure.
But, unfortunately, they are not functioning properly.He also suggested strengthening maternal healthcare facilities to ensure mothers access to such services. The Prothom Alo editor, Motiur Rahman, said media should discharge their responsibilities in containing neonatal deaths.
Munira Parvin of UNICEF suggested improving upazila health services by putting in place skilled physicians, nurses and health workers. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University professor Md Shahidullah stressed the need for taking multi-dimensional, but coordinated approaches to reduce inequalities in services to improve maternal and neonatal health.
Additional director general of the Directorate General of Health Services Hosne Ara Farmi and the director of the Directorate General of Family Planning, Mostafa Kamal, also addressed the session, presided over by National Professor MR Khan.
The organisation held the conference at a time when, according to UNICEF, Bangladesh has ranked among the few countries with a major share, 1,20,000 deaths a year, of the four million global neonatal deaths.
Most of such deaths occur at home because of high percentage of home delivery and lack of skilled midwives or birth attendants and inadequate coverage of newborn care programmes.
Source: The Daily Commercial Times