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Olubunmi Lawal, the National President of National Association of Nigerian Nurses, has urged the Federal Government to integrate care of preterm babies in the National Health Insurance Scheme or policy.

Lawal made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in commemoration of the International Day of Prematurity marked annually on November 17 annually.

International Day of Prematurity is observed on Nov. 17 each year to raise awareness of preterm birth and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide.

Preterm birth, also known as premature birth, is the birth of a baby at fewer than 37 weeks gestational age.

She noted that such inclusion would ensure that every child born prematurely was owned and supported by the government to ease financial burden on parents.

According to her, through this policy if a child is born preterm health care services required for such child will be covered by NHIS.

Lawal said: “It is a lot easier, it reduces associated death rate, it promotes access to quality care, among others.”

She frowned at the burden of care posed by preterm birth on parents due to high cost of healthcare and stressed that integration of such care in NHIS would ease such burden and reduce associated mortality rate.

Lawal further noted that due to financial constraints some parents often presented some preterm babies late in hospital, exposing them to cold and increasing the death rate.

She said: “Preterm babies are our future leaders and we must do everything possible to ensure their survival.”

She called for urgent action to address preterm baby deaths.

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