Nestle Joins the Fight Against Neonatal Deaths through $7,000 Donation

"Neonatal Morbidity Rate is the risk of death during the first 28 days of a newborn's life"

Nestle Hands Over US$7 Thousand Kit to the Ministry of Health
Image Credit: Reuters

Nestle Nutrition Institute Africa (NNIA) has handed over 63 kits worth US$ 7 000 which were requested by the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) to boost available material to ensure effective training for relevant healthcare professionals in Harare today.

Speaking during the handover ceremony in Harare, the Principal Director of Preventative Services Dr Gibson Mhlanga, who was representing Minister of Health and Child Care Dr David Parirenyatwa said that the move by NNIA to donate the equipment signifies great Private Sector support aimed at reducing the national neonatal morbidity and mortality rates.

Neonatal morbidity rate is the risk of death during the newborn period (the first 28 days of life) and neonatal mortality is the statistical rate of infant death during the first 28 days after live birth, expressed as the number of such deaths per 1000 live births in a specific geographic area in a given time.

“In our interactions with Nestle, we highlighted to them our need for availability of more Neonatal Resuscitation equipment to ensure continuous and ongoing training of our Healthcare Professions,” Mhlanga said.

“We would like to thank the Nestle Nutrition Institute Africa for heeding our call and providing 63 neonatal resuscitation kits valued at US$7,000 to be used for the training of Healthcare Professionals at each district hospital nationwide”.

NNIA Board Member, Irene Sambo, who spoke during the handover said that the kits were bought to boost available material to ensure effective training for relevant Healthcare Professionals right from the district level.

Sambo said that NNIA will be offering support in conducting the trainings.

“It is our hope that through this initiative, we will together strengthen Healthcare Professional capacity in neonatal care, thereby helping in reducing neonatal mortality in Zimbabwe which currently stands at 29 per 1000,” the NNIA board member said.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2016, 2,6 million deaths, or roughly 46% of all under-five deaths, occur during the neonatal period.

Currently, the Demographic Health survey shows that the Neonatal Mortality Rate is 29 per 1 000 live births.

“We have a long way to go, but we believe that through such private sector support as we are witnessing today, the target can be achieved,” Mhlanga said.

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