PhD in Nursing graduate, Dr Adenike Adebola Olaniyi.

PhD Study Aims to Reduce Neonatal Mortality Rate

Dr Adenike Adebola Olaniyi was awarded a PhD in Nursing for her study on a neonatal resuscitation training model for semi-skilled birth attendants to manage neonatal emergencies in Oyo State, Nigeria.

Olaniyi, who hails from Nigeria, noted that Nigeria has one of the highest neonatal mortality rates in the world, with most deaths occurring in rural areas during the first week of life.

‘The poor primary healthcare system is a major challenge to child health. Poverty and illiteracy also limit access to healthcare. This calls for the use of Community Health Workers in primary healthcare centres.’

The study tested an existing model to enhance and assess basic newborn resuscitation techniques and employed it to train semi-skilled birth attendants to manage asphyxia resulting from neonatal emergencies. Evaluating and refining the model increased the standard of care and service. The study recommends that it be incorporated into the Community Health Extension Workers’ curriculum in Nigeria.

The study produced three published research articles, with a further three under review by high-impact journals.

A registered nurse with 15 years’ teaching experience at the School of Nursing, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Olaniyi is currently an Assistant Director (Nursing Training) at the School. She was awarded her BSc (Nursing) and MPH (Reproductive and Family Health) by the University of Ibadan before embarking on doctoral studies at UKZN. Her future plans include joining the University as a lecturer and participating in research.

‘Completing this PhD is a great accomplishment. I am grateful to my husband, Professor John Ayodele Olaniyi for his encouragement and my supervisor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in the College of Health Sciences, Professor Busisiwe Ncama. Despite her tight schedule, she diligently supervised my work and supported me throughout the project and beyond,’ said Olaniyi.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied