NLNG, LCCI urge collaboration to reduce neonatal mortality in Nigeria

Photo shows L-R: Prince Abimbola Olasore, VP and Chairman, Trade Promotion Board, LCCI; Ophilia-Tammy Aduura (NLNG); Mr. Gabriel Idahosa, LCCI Director-General; Ijeoma Jibunoh (NLNG); and Dr. Niyi Osamiluyi, Chairman Medical Pharmaceuticals & Allied Services Group, LCCI at the 2024 NLNG-LCCI Business Interactive Forum…in Lagos on Wednesday

Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have emphasized the need for collaboration between the business community and the science and research sector in Nigeria. 
This collaboration is aimed at promoting respiratory technologies for newborns and reducing neonatal mortality rates in the country.

The call was made on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, during a joint event organized by NLNG and LCCI. The event highlighted the importance of closing the gaps in meeting sustainable development goals, particularly in the area of reducing neonatal mortality.

NLNG and LCCI believe that the business community can play a significant role in promoting respiratory technologies for newborns. They also stressed the need for increased investment in research and development to improve healthcare outcomes in Nigeria.

NLNG, LCCI seek business community collaboration on promoting respiratory technologies for newborns

The call was made to the business community at the public presentation of the winning work of The Nigeria Prize for Science (2023). The work, by Professor Hippolite Amadi, focuses on three (3) technological innovations aimed at saving the lives of neonates by making the delivery of oxygen cheap and easy. The presentation was organised in collaboration with LCCI.

The guests at the event included the General Manager of External Relations and Sustainable Development, Andy Odeh, represented by Yemi Adeyemi, Acting Manager, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs; the 2023 winner of the Nigeria Prize for Science, Professor Amadi; the LCCI President, Mr. Gabriel Idahosa; the LCCI Director-General, Dr. Chinyere Almona; and other LCCI executives.

In his remarks, Mr Odeh said a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2023 ranked Nigeria as the country with the second highest number of maternal, neonatal and child deaths worldwide, adding that Nigeria stands the risk of normalising neonatal mortality if nothing is done to stop it.

"The groundbreaking innovations of Professor Amadi, as recognised by The Nigeria Prize for Science, are not merely a step forward for our nation but a beacon of hope for the countless newborn lives that hang in the balance. We cannot afford to let the cries of our newborns fade into the background of our daily lives. The urgency to combat neonatal mortality is a solemn duty to safeguard the future of our nation's children, and we must answer that call with unwavering determination and immediate, decisive measures.

"NLNG is very proud of Professor Amadi's discoveries through The Nigeria Prize for Science. Our vision of helping to build a better Nigeria is the core of the prize, and we believe strongly that the 2023 winning entry speaks in unambiguous terms as one of the ways we can achieve this vision. NLNG remains committed to the prize and will not relent in finding solutions to the nation's development issues," he stated.

The LCCI Director-General, Mr. Gabriel Idahosa, according to a press release signed by Yemi Adeyemi, Acting Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, NLNG, stated in his address that the business interactive forum provided a unique opportunity for the Nigerian business community to learn from Professor Amadi's work. He said that if Nigeria, given its natural endowments, is to successfully transform its economy and achieve significant growth, science and technology and its integration into the socio-economic development process must be accorded the highest priority. 

"It is important to note the recognition of Professor Amadi's work in the field of newborn and child healthcare, which was selected from over a hundred entries. The work is not only based on how it can significantly advance neonatal care in Nigeria but also on how it can improve access and reduce neonatal care costs. We urge the government to provide targeted funding toward the local production of healthcare and pharmaceutical devices, as this will help reduce the burden of foreign exchange spent on importing most of our healthcare needs in Nigeria. Several lessons can be drawn from this achievement regarding our daily business and personal life," he said.

He applauded NLNG, the prize sponsor, for being one of the best-run public-private partnerships that has consistently contributed to the Nigerian economy through dividends and taxes. 

In his presentation, Professor Amadi stated the prize has helped the expansion of his research project in Nigeria, which has led to the creation of additional advanced respiratory devices for neonates operable by nurses and local practitioners. 

The Nigeria Prize for Science is a $100,000 award sponsored by NLNG to promote innovations in science and technology that will solve age-long problems and drive development in Nigeria. 

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