Sat | Oct 20, 2018

PNP Women’s Movement wants probe into neonatal deaths

Published:Friday | June 8, 2018 | 12:01 PM
PNP Women’s Movement president, Jennifer Edwards - File Photo

The People’s National Party Women’s Movement is calling for the Government to urgently and thoroughly investigate the reasons for the significant increase in the number of neonatal deaths in 2017 in public hospitals.

While recognising that, despite the trauma to parents and in particular to the mothers, neonatal death is not an unusual occurrence, the Women’s Movement is concerned that public hospitals are seeing an increase in such deaths in one single year.

The organisation says it understands that last year saw some 500 neonatal deaths in government-run facilities.

It says the Government needs to say what has influenced this increase in the island’s neo mortality rate during that 12 month period.

“While the minister is concentrating on other initiatives, he must tell the nation what is the cause of this alarming neonatal death rate,” says Women’s Movement president Jennifer Edwards.

According to the Women's Movement, the neo death rate has moved from an average of 11 per 1000 in 2016 as recorded by UNICEF, to these alarming numbers, with the Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover being reported at over 60 per 1000 live births.

“For many years, Jamaica has had an enviable record of healthy birth rates and therefore this figure is alarming and requires swift and decisive action to prevent re-occurrence of this traumatic situation for women and families,” Edwards said.

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