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Guinea: 500 newborns die every week – Official

Five hundred newborns die every week in Guinea, mainly because of the lack of qualified midwives in the country’s maternity hospitals, Ben Youssouf Keita, president of the National Assembly’s Health and Sport Commission said on Monday in Conakry.”In the context of neonatology, official statistics have shown that 500 babies die every week in Guinea. That’s two thousand babies a month,” Keita, who is also a member of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG, opposition) said.

This dramatic situation is first to be attributed to the way midwives are deployed throughout the country, according to Keita, who was speaking during the debate on the budget allocation for the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene.

“For example, in which sub-prefecture of the country is there a qualified midwife? There are practically none. They are all, either in the cities or in the capital. It is rather old women – traditional birth attendants – who often deliver,” the MP deplored.

“Secondly, throughout the Republic of Guinea, it is only in Donka (Conakry) that there is a neonatal service. When there is a suffering baby in Kouroussa, Kissidougou, Boffa, Gaoual, Lelouma and others, if parents have the means, they’ll transport the baby to the National Institute of Child Health (INSE). Unfortunately, INSE is not equipped, he added.

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