One newborn child dies every 15 minutes in Ghana with 30,000 newborn deaths recorded each year. This according to a statement by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), accounts for 40% of the under-five mortality in Ghana.
Three out of the four children who die each hour could be saved through simple, effective and low-cost interventions according to the statement, describing the deaths as unnecessary.
It said deaths of the newborn in Ghana over the last 10 years had remained unchanged.
The statement further states, “Infections (31%), preterm and low birth weight (29%), and complications including asphyxia (breathing difficulty 27&) make up over three-fourth (87%) of the causes of newborn deaths in Ghana.”
“As many as 24,000 newborn babies in Ghana can be saved annually using these low-cost interventions,” the statement said.
The statement suggested that proven low-cost interventions such as keeping the baby warm, early initiation of breastfeeding at birth, exclusive breastfeeding, timely management of infections and hygienic umbilical cord care were simple ways that could save the lives of the newborn.