World premature day celebrations at St. John XXIII Hospital Aber.

 

Theme: Together for babies born too soon-caring for the future.

 

Acknowledgement: St. John XIII Hospital Aber, Doctors with Africa –CUAMM.

 

The neonatal care team (PJHA and CUAMM) joined hands to celebrate the world prematurity day at the hospital.

We celebrated with all the mothers in the neonatal unit at the time.

Invited mothers who have successfully raised preterms to give their testimonies to encourage others in the unit.

Activities performed focused on the following components

Supporting families and communities.

  1. The neonatal unit nurses spread to ANC and OPD within the hospital to health educate and sensitize on prematurity.
  2. A radio talk show done by the neonatal unit doctor and nursing officers with objective of;
  • Educating and sensitizing the communities on who a premature is, the Risks resulting into premature delivery, causes, prevention and the care of a preterms right from health facility level to home management.
  • Our focus was to build a stronger community that will respond positively to protect a premature baby in their homes.
  • To give hope and courage for those that may have felt exhausted and overwhelmed by the burden of raising with the preterms.
  • To give a positive drive to women to seek health care when interfaced with a pre-term labour.
  • To encourage the mothers that premature are human beings like any other full term babies and deserves better care.
  • To create awareness on the available services at facility level to help manage babies born too soon.
  1. All mothers in the unit received gifts for their babies. They were also encouraged and interacted with mothers who have successfully raised premature babies.

Supporting health care professionals.

  • We undertook continuous professional development (CPD) through ground rounds and CME to strengthen capacity of the frontline health care providers in management of prematurity and its complications.

Health care systems

  • Subsidized costs for hospital care of the newborns enabled longer hospital stay for those preterm who needed more care.

Improvements achieved during the years related newborn/prematurity.

404/923 (43%) were preterm admitted into the neonatal unit which ended up in 88.9% survival in the financial year 2019/2020 .This is attributed to the interventions below;

  • Constant support supervision of lower health units to aid on timely referral, use of antenatal corticosteroids for preterm labour, and maintaining warm chain at the time of referral.
  • Use of modernized equipment such as CPAP, radiant warmers, phototherapy machines in managing prematurity complications.
  • Strengthened uptake of kangaroo care services in the unit.
  • Follow up when discharged in the neonatal review clinics.
  • Dedicated neonatal unit team managing the babies.
  • Continuous support from the hospital management addressing key challenges in prematurity management.

 

Success story

24 year old mother A.M delivered a preterm weighing 700 grams and was managed in the unit, discharged alive and continuously followed up to date.

While at home following discharges, she continued with kangaroo care as taught, she maintained the warmth in the house using a charcoal stove, exclusively breastfed the baby, prioritized her baby over other duties.

She had more support from her family members and relatives especially the grand father

Today baby Atala is 16months old with good developmental mile stones hitting the history of being the smallest preterm to have survived in the unit.

Her main challenge was domestic and commercial activities came to stand still for the sake her baby.