Newborn community care training wraps up
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The sub-regional Anglophone training of trainers for community care of newborns last Friday ended at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia.
The nine-day program was organised by the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) sub-regional office in Burkina Faso. It was coordinated by the National Reproductive and Child Health Unit of the Department of State for Health and Social Welfare.
The workshop brought together 20 participants from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia. The training session aimed at training trainers on community based newborn care. The trainers will in turn be tasked with the responsibility to train community health workers and other health service providers.
The objective is to accelerate the reduction in death of newborns and the childhood maternal morbidity and mortality rate thus contributing towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Sainey B Susso, deputy permanent secretary at the Department of State for Health and Social Welfare, who also doubles as the WAHO liaison officer, said that at the department level, they are fully informed of the areas of concern covered during the training.This, he said, included among others, the importance of community based maternal and newborn care during pregnancy and delivery.
According to him, approximately 60 percent of deliveries continue to take place at home in developing countries, especially in rural areas. This is usually as a result of long distances, poor roads and communication networks, poor health and referral systems, poverty and harmful socio-cultural beliefs and practices.
“Therefore, there is an urgent need to focus on community based interventions for improving maternal and newborn healthcare systems. A country’s state of health is reflected by its child mortality rate,” he said.
In conclusion, he thanked WAHO for choosing The Gambia to host this very important training. For her part, Ms. Min-Whee Kang, UNICEF representative, expressed hope that the participants, upon returning to their respective countries, will advocate for ways to address newborn health care issues.
According to her, among the health-related MDGs, the under-five mortality rate is perhaps the most sensitive indicator of a nation’s overall well-being. Mrs Ramou Cole-Ceesay, head of the National Reproductive and Child Health Unit of the Department of State for Health chaired the occasion.
Author: by Mariatou Ngum- Saidy