On 23/Jul/2019 / In Medical News
A non-governmental organisation, Health Place for Children Initiative, has established a five-bed Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu State.
The founder of the group, Dr Odiraa Nwankwo, in a statement said the HPCI had assembled the required equipment and had strong support from the hospital leadership.
“In Nigeria today, if a child is in respiratory distress and goes to an emergency room at most of the teaching hospitals, they cannot incubate and mechanically ventilate the child. It is on this premise that Health Place for Children Initiative is embarking on the project at the UNTH.
“This is a pilot project, with the goal to upscale to other teaching hospitals in Nigeria. We hope to establish at least one paediatric ICU at a major teaching hospital in each of the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria by the end of 2023,” Nwankwo said.
He said it was sad that despite improved immunisation, under-five mortality ratio was still high both in Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries.
“Data from the Nigerian Demographic Health Survey in 2013 suggests that one out of every eight children born in Nigeria will die before their fifth birthday. Majority of the causes of these high mortality rates are either preventable or reversible.
“For Nigeria to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 3.2, a smart comprehensive approach that includes improved immunisation, health promotion, provision of prompt acute and critical care services should be promptly adopted. However, the provision of critical care services in organised Paediatric Intensive Care Units is either rudimentary or non-existent in many low and middle-income countries,” he added.
Nwankwo said the project was embarked on as a result of the lack of paediatric intensive healthcare in most of the teaching hospitals in Nigeria.
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