WORRIED by the high incidence of death among premature babies in the country, a consultant paediatrician, Dr. Efunbo Dosekun, has called on Nigerians at home and abroad to come together so as to effectively combat the challenge and foster better survival of babies born prematurely.
Speaking in Lagos, Dosekun, who is Managing Director, Outreach Children's Hospital Festac Town, Lagos, observed that many premature babies die as a result of delay and other unhealthy processes they go through before radequate care reaches them.
"These premature babies I often refer to describe as 'Traveling Babies' of Lagos State because many of them might have travelled from one hospital to another in search of incubators."
She revealed that many of such children have been taken to the Outreach Children's Hospital when their cases have become complicated. Usually the babies who are often transported to the hospital in commercial vehicles would have suffered damage to the brain, kidneys or lungs.
Dosekun who claimed it was only her hospital that had a special premature babies ambulance in Lagos, urged all Nigerians to contribute towards giving a better lease of life to premature babies.
The hospital's Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Segun Ebitanmi said the Outreach Hospital is scheduled with the responsibility of providing standard care, exactly the way it is being provide in Europe and America, but to maintain this care requires money.Sadly, many patients are unable to pay for the service, he noted.
He appreciated the Lagos State government's leading role in making lives a reality for premature babies, noting that babies referred from General Hospitals in the State is usually due to space conatraint, even though the State government pays for the care.