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Birth attendants: ABUAD partners CURE, WHO, USAID

By Tunde Olofintila

Project CURE, an American philanthropic organisation, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), USAID and Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Ekiti State, will January 17, 2018, hold a train-the-trainers programme tagged Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), in support of the university’s ultra-modern 400-bed multi-system hospital and in honour of Yeye Aare Modupe Babalola, wife of ABUAD’s founder, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN.

Since the commencement of the HBB programme in 2013, Project CURE has trained 1,343 in-country birth attendants, sent 95 U.S. master trainers abroad and facilitated 38 train-the-trainers trips worldwide, while an estimated 60,500 newborns were saved as a result of its HBB efforts.

The training, which will be anchored by Ms Jennifer Manhoff and Ms Amy Greene, will zero in on the availability of skilled birth attendants at birth, assessment of every baby, temperature support, stimulation to breathe and assisted ventilation as needed within the first minute of birth, otherwise known as the “golden minute” after birth.

The one-day training programme for women, nurses, midwives, doctors and allied medical professionals is powered by Project CURE, WHO, USAID and ABUAD to ensure that babies do not die within the first minute after birth.

According to Project CURE, 2.9 million newborns die of preventable causes every year. But, over time, Project CURE has introduced the HBB, designed to address the three most common causes of preventable neonatal death: complications during childbirth, complications from pre-term birth and neonatal infections.

After inspecting the facilities in the ABUAD multi-system hospital in January 2017, and after witnessing the inauguration of the hospital on October 20, Project CURE sourced for further resources, aid and grants to make the hospital sure-footed. It was in furtherance of this that it secured WHO and USAID’s buy-in to organise the programme to garner support for the hospital and in honour of Yeye Babalola, to ensure that “a skilled birth attendant is present at every birth.”

In bringing smiles to the faces of the needy and succour to the medically-vulnerable, particularly women and children, Project CURE has been delivering, on a weekly basis, approximately three truckloads of medical supplies and equipment to over 130 countries across the different continents of the world.

Besides, CURE sends teams of medical professionals to assist partner hospitals and clinics through its clinic programme and provides medical supplies to travelling doctors and nurses in the form of CURE kits, in addition to sending kits for kids, a backpack filled with children’s basic medical items, for those with no health access in developing countries. All of this is done with the 17,000 individuals who volunteer with CURE annually.

ABUAD hospital, which the chief medical director of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Temitope Alonge, dubbed “the answer to outward medical tourism in Nigeria,” was launched at an elaborate ceremony witnessed by the crème-de-la-crème of the society made up of members of the Bar and Bench, royalty, clergy and captains of industry, high-ranking players in the health sector as well as top politicians.

In his words, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said: “This hospital will offer us what we hitherto believed cannot happen in this country. It will also improve the poor health indicators in Nigeria. With what I have seen here today, this hospital matches the best in the world and it will certainly put an end to medical tourism outside Nigeria.”

ABUAD Hospital, which will commence full operations later this month, is primed to buoy the economy of the state with thousands of jobs and bring quality health care of international standard to Nigerians at affordable cost and make the hospital the Mecca of quality health care delivery, thereby reducing the quantum of foreign exchange Nigerians expend on medicare abroad. Indeed, it will check the annual wastage of foreign exchange by people going for treatment outside the country.

To add international flavour to the nation’s health care delivery, teaching, training and research, the hospital has entered a partnership with some reputable players in the global heath industry such as Abbot Laboratories; Aster Hospital, Dubai; Project CURE, USA; Narula, India; JNC International, Trigenesis, India; Protech Gas; Adler of England, College of Pharmacy, Howard University, USA; Bridge of Life, USA; and Care4You Association of Denmark.

The hospital, which has five modular theatres equipped with pneumatic tubes, is populated with specialist equipment, including, SPEC Scan, CT scan, MRI and ultrasound scan/X-ray. It also has surgical specialties such as general surgery, paediatric surgery, plastic, urology, orthopedics, neuro-surgical specialties, cancer surgery (oncology) and endocrine surgery.

To make things easier for clients, it has been constructed with an accompanying helipad that would support people/clients being brought in from any part of the country with ease to avoid the challenges posed by the poor nature of road network in the country.

•Olofintila wrote from Ado-Ekiti


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