Medical Director tasks governments on sustained support for hospitals in managing premature infants

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

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

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

He noted that the unit managing the premature infants at FMCL remained the only standard centre for newborn special care unit in the whole of Kogi State.

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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 on management of premature infants was improved and sustained.

”So, if the government can give us more support, it will go a long way because to keep premature infant alive is very expensive.

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

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Earlier, Dr Patricia Medupin, a Consultant Paediatrics, and head of 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 successfuly managed the treatment of premature babies in spite various challenges over the past years.

She explained that the average survival rate in terms premature 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.

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

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

The World Prematurity Day is observed on every Nov. 17, to raise awareness about preterm birth.

The highlight of the occasion was the cutting of the cake to celebrate premature babies.




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