The number of births recorded among internally displaced persons in Nigeria would hit 60,000 by the end of 2015, the United Nations Population Fund has said.
This was disclosed, Monday, during the donation of birth kits to displaced persons in Borno State by Deluxe Childbirth Services, a medical services firm, as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.
“By 2015, 60,000 births are expected in IDP camps,” said Ratidzai Ndhlovu, UNFPA Country Representative.
“UNFPA anticipates that the donation of these 400 birth kits will be an additional tool for improving the health of newborn babies in the camps.
The kits are expected to help support pregnant women in IDP settlements in Boko Haram-affected communities in Borno State.
The U.S. Agency for International Development facilitated the transfer of the birth kits by making initial contact with Deluxe Child Services and identifying UNFPA as the partner organisation that will take receipt of the kits.
Two USAID projects also played a role in the handover.
The Expanded Social Marketing Project in Nigeria transported the birth kits free of charge to the UNFPA warehouse in Kaduna, and the Targeted States High Impact Project provided 400 doses of Chlorhexidine—an antibiotic gel that prevents cord infection in newborns—that will accompany the birth kits.
There are about 1.5 million internally displaced persons in Nigeria as at April this year, according to the UNFPA. This figure includes people displaced as a result of brutal attacks by Boko Haram, the government counter-insurgency operations, ongoing inter-communal clashes, and natural hazard-induced disasters.
Julie Koenen, USAID Deputy Director, said that the U.S. would continue to play a pivotal role in bringing the private sector to contribute to the welfare of the IDPs.
“The U.S. Government will continue to support further collaboration between the private sector and the development community in Nigeria.”
All products would be distributed in three settlements for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri. UNFPA will train skilled birth attendants on their use, according to USAID.
Each birth kit contains an absorbent delivery mat, three infant diapers, one bar of anti-bacterial soap, one scalpel, one bottle of methylated spirit, 10 sanitary pads, five pieces of gauze, a pack of cotton wool, two sterilized gloves, infant cord clamps and one mucus extractor.
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