Malawi is making strides in improving newborn deaths which remain alarmingly high globally, a new United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) report indicates.
The report, titled ‘Every Child Alive-The Urgent Need to End Newborn Deaths’, was launched on Tuesday at Thyolo District Hospital at the start of the Every Child Alive campaign which seeks to demand and deliver solutions on behalf of the world’s children, starting with newborns.
In his presentation of the report, Unicef’s Atnafu Getachew attributed the situation to high rate of coverage of high impact preventive and curative health interventions such as ante-natal care, immunisation, distribution of insecticide treated nets and prevention and treatment of common infectious diseases.
However, despite the progress, one out of 37 children are still dying in the first month of life.
Speaking after the launch, Unicef Malawi Partnerships specialist Charlene Thompson said: “The launch of this report gives us an opportunity to raise the importance of preventing newborn deaths which are easily preventable.”
In his remarks, acting director of health and social welfare services for Thyolo District, Arnold Jumbe, said though the district is a model in preventing child deaths, early pregnancies remain a challenge.
Through the campaign, Unicef is appealing to governments, health care providers, donors, the private sector, families and businesses to keep children alive by, among other strategies, recruiting, training, retaining and managing sufficient number of doctors, nurses and midwives and community health workers with expertise in maternal and newborn care.
Unicef is also empowering adolescent girls, mothers and families to demand and receive quality care, making it a priority to provide every mother and baby with life-saving drugs and equipment needed for a healthy start in life and guaranteeing clean, functional health facilities equipped with all necessities within the reach of every mother and baby. n