By Sylvester Atemnkeng
Bafia, Cameroon-Thursday February 15, 2018-10:24 PM Local Time (Cameroon News Agency) Almost half of deaths in infancy take place in the first month of life. Newly born babies require specialized care and treatment and tertiary care hospitals such as Bafia District Hospital, need state of the art facilities and highly trained medical and nursing staff to attend to emergencies and complications related to newborns at birth.
With the aim of providing newly born children requiring emergency care and specialized treatment, the newly renovated Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Bafia District Hospital in the Centre region, was inaugurated on February 15, by the Minister of Public Health, Andre Mama Fouda in the presence of the Minister of Lands, Survey and State Property – Jacqueline Koum Abissike and other top government officials.
The renovation and equipping of this specialized care unit was funded by the World Health Organisation, WHO. This advanced centre will also build the capacity of specialist doctors and nursing staff on basic and advanced newborn care services and thus save more lives. The centre will also train staff from other hospitals in advanced newborn care and strengthen the quality of care in newborn care units in other hospitals of the country.
The specialized unit is equipped with modern machines and as many as 40 newborns can be admitted to the ward for treatment at any given time. The unit will provide specialized care and treatment for newborns and closely assess, measure and monitor vital signs, feeding and growth of premature babies. In the long run, it will contribute to the country’s plan to implement global recommendations on newborn care which call for ending preventable child deaths by 2035.
The head of Family Care Program in the Bafia District Hospital, Dr. Irene Yakana Emah, admired the efforts of WHO in reducing of mothers and children mortality in the country saying the children are not only important for their families but they are also important for the future of Cameroon.
“Establishing such specialised units is vital for Cameroon newborns and reducing neonatal mortality. Therefore, “newborn care is of utmost importance in reducing neonatal and infant mortality rate in Cameroon and in reaching Millennium Development Goal 4; reduce child mortality,” said Dr. Irene Yakana Emah .
On his part, the Representative of WHO Cameroon, Dr. Jean Baptiste Roungou, thanked the Minister of Public Health for coming in person to inaugurate the centre despite his multiple tasks and files to go through on his desk. This for him was a renewed expression of the importance the minister attach to strengthening the health system at the grassroots level.
Highlighting the mission of WHO , Dr. Roungou said, their main reason for carrying out such gestures in Cameroon is to support the country to bring the populations of Cameroon to the highest attainable level of health.
The Minister of Public Health on his part hailed the gesture describing it as serving the real purpose of their mission everywhere the go.
The dimension of the building is 15 meters by 12, with 4 main rooms, a kangaroo unit, a premature room, a neo-natalite room and a polyvante room. It also has a staff office. All these rooms are air conditioned. It is connected to the pediatrician by a gallery of 15 meters long to prevent newborns from being exposed to sunlight, rain or drafts. An equation castle was equally built to supply the hospital with portable water. The amount of the investments is FCFA 118 727 090.