COVID-19 : Authorities introduce “Baby Box” to fight infant/maternal mortality

Women who have babies in health facilities in Cameroon will henceforth receive a “Baby Box”, when discharged.

The “Baby Box”, contains  basic needs for the new born, and mother.

Cameroon’s Public Health Minister, Dr. Manaouda Malachie launched the concept on August 13, 2020, to primarily fight infant and maternal mortality in Cameroon.

Dr. Manaouda Malachie speaks at the daily press briefing on COVID-19

The “Baby Box” concept is also intended to provide assistance to parents having babies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Six regions have been selected for the implementation of the new project. They are; Adamawa, North, Far North, East and Centre regions.

Health facilities in these regions, will handover the “baby box” to every mother, whose baby is delivered by a health personnel.

Authorities have introduced the project to encourage expectant mothers  to have their babies in health facilities. The COVID-19 scare has caused many, including these women,  to flee health facilities, and resort to traditional medicine and roadside vendors, leading to  an unprecedented rise in infant and maternal mortality  rates.

COVID19 : 787 Children among positive cases

According to public health authorities, 787 children in Cameroon have been infected with the COVID-19, since its onset on March 6.

Out of this figure, 211 children are within the age group of 0-9, and 576 others are aged 10-19.

Fortunately, no child is counted among the 403 deaths recorded so far. As of August 13, 2020, Cameroon counts 18,118 confirmed cases, and 16,335 recoveries. A total of 1177 are currently active cases. The country’s recovery rate is 91.27%, and lethality rate, 2,22%.

COVID-19: Keeping children safe

Public health officials say protecting children from COVID-19 is crucial . Most of them are victims of socio-economic crisis, child abuse, unwanted pregnancies, child labor and other forms of abuse.

But given that  children are quite vulnerable, health experts say they should receive proper medical care during this time.

Medics say children present a benign form of the COVID-19, that is easily transmitted to parents, who in tend contaminate others. Hence, children must be made to respect all preventive measures.

To provide proper health care to this special category of persons during the COVID season, pediatric and vaccination services have been upgraded.

However, children who present symptoms of COVID-19 are expected to be taken to hospital for confirmation, and admission to the special treatment centres.

Authorities add that parents caring for such children must strictly respect the guidance of health personnel.

Kathy Neba Sina

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