WORLD PREMATURITY DAY MARKED TO RAISE AWARENESS OF PRETERM BIRTH PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
Nandi County joined the rest of the world in marking World Prematurity Day (WPD) acknowledging the journeys of preterm infants and their families as well as raise awareness of the challenges faced by children born preterm and their families and to recognize the more than one million children who die due to complications from premature births.
Speaking at the event held at Serem Health Centre, the CEC for Health Ruth Koech highlighted the importance of prevention of premature birth and its complications through following up pregnancy from the first day and making appropriate tests during pregnancy and giving premature birth in well-equipped hospitals which provide required services without delay.
“Intensifying our focus on prematurity will sustain gains in child survival, and help lay the groundwork for ending all preventable deaths of women and children,” said Ruth.
This year’s WPD is marked under the theme ‘Born Too Soon: Providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place.’
It connects with the benefits of family partnership in care for children, families, parents, health care professionals, policymakers and others.
Premature birth is a very serious health problem. Premature birth is a birth that takes place more than three weeks before the baby’s estimated due date. In other words, premature birth is one that occurs before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy. Premature babies, especially those born very early, often have complicated medical problems.
The county government of Nandi is responding and creating more comprehensive and innovative plans to improve newborn survival and health with new measures to accelerate progress for newborn health. The plans outline specific actions to improve the quality care for newborns and mothers during labour and birth, and for the provision of essential care during the first week of life.
The Department of Health has also spearheaded the use of innovative solutions including cost effective technologies towards improving outcomes for new-borns and children. The nnovations and initiatives are already in place to provide health benefits to premature babies and end preventable newborn and under-5 births.
One of the initiatives is the Kangaroo Mother Care: The practice of the mother, or other caretaker, carrying the newborn in early, continuous, and prolonged skin-to skin contact and exclusive breastfeeding.
To mark the day, a Kangaroo Mother Care Unit was officially opened at Serem Health Centre. This was made possible with the support from Nutrition International.
Everyone can play a part in helping prevent preterm births, ensuring accurate diagnosis and caring for women in preterm labor and babies born too soon.