University of Benin partners to curb neonatal deaths

The Nigerian Breweries Plc has established a partnership with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) to reduce neonatal mortality rate in the Hospital.

According to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the brewery giant, Mr. Jordi Borrut Bel, the company will commit about€103.937,94 (over N42 million), through its Heineken Africa Foundation, to equip facilities at the Hospital.

Mr. Bel who was represented by the Corporate Affairs Manager, Mrs. Shade Morgan, said the partnership will help to reduce the current 25 per cent mortality rate (1in 4) to 10 percent (1in 10) in the Hospital.

“Here at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, the Foundation will equip the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with advanced neonatal care facilities and consumables worth €103,937.94, that is, over N42 million, to assist with reducing the neonatal mortality rate from the current 25 percent (1in 4) to 10 percent (1in 10).

“We hope that with this intervention, we would be contributing to reversing the negative index of neonatal deaths in Edo State in particular and Nigeria in general,” Bel said.

He said since the 2007, the Foundation has committed up to €9.9 million in 111 different projects focused on health and water, across the African continent.

Some of the funds, he said, have supported projects in Kaduna such as the donations of the general female orthopaedic ward, a CT Scan and Ultra Sound Scanning Machines, all at the St. Gerard’s Hospital, in 2010, 2013 and 2015, respectively.

He expressed optimism that the project will be executed according to the terms and conditions of their agreement.

In his speech, the Chief Medical Director of UBTH, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, disclosed that about 2000 babies are delivered in the Hospital every year.

He said the project will reduce the death rates among the newborn babies to a very minimal level.

“In UBTH, we have about 2000 live births in every year and out of it above 5 per cent needs special care; that is, special intensive care, to look after them and another 25 per cent of this 5 percent requires intensive care.

“So, sadly in UBTH though we have a Special Care Unit, there is no Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,” the CMD said.

He said the Hospital was among the nine institutions that applied for the assistance, but only UBTH scaled through and got the approval from the Foundation.

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