Newborn resuscitation practices and paucity of resuscitative devices in Nigeria; a call to action
Background: Neonatal resuscitation is a method of preventing morbidities & mortality from asphyxia. Up to 85% of facilities in sub-Saharan Africa lack supplies or skilled personnel for neonatal resuscitation. Relative to the place of birth and the skill of the birth attendant, a variety of resuscitative practice are employed to make babies cry instead of helping the baby breathe. Many painful procedures are applied when the baby is unable to cry after birth in the absence of a health care worker trained in bag-mask ventilation.
Objectives: To ascertain the resuscitation practices in communities lacking bag-mask-valve devices.
Methods: Surveys on the resuscitation practices during NISONM annual community outreach and mENCC trainings for four consecutive years in different geopolitical zones of the country.
Results: Spanking of the baby usually in the upside down position (>90%), body massage with hot compress or salicylate con- taining balms, herbal concoctions, injection hydrocortisone or crystalline penicillin were used.
Conclusion: There is an urgent need to address the issue of training on bag-mask ventilation and provision for frontline health- care workers in Nigeria as a neonatal mortality reduction strategy.
Keywords: Newborn resuscitation, paucity of resuscitative device, Nigeria.