Effia-Nkwanta Hospital in need of incubators for preterm babies

Sunday 18th November, 2018

By Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA

Effia (W/R), Nov. 18, GNA – The lack of incubators and skilled hands to cater for preterm babies continues to affect their survival rate and thereby increasing mortality among babies in that condition.

Statistics available at the Effia-Nkwanta hospital revealed that between June and September this year, of the 14 percent of babies admitted with preterm conditions, 41 per cent mortality rate was recorded.

Dr Yaa Appian-Nkansah, a pediatrician at the Hospital, told the Ghana News Agency that the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital, a major referral hospital in the Region, has three out of ten incubators working and only two nurses to take care of about 41 babies born before the 40 weeks of gestation.

This years’ world prematurity day held under the theme: “Working Together; Partnering with Families in the Care of Small and Sick Babies”, would solicit family support especially husbands in caring for such children under the Kangaroo system of care.

The Sustainable Development Goal three enjoins countries including Ghana to end preventable deaths of new born and children under five. Countries are requested to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1000 live births and under five mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1000 live births.

She said it was possible for children born between 25 weeks to survive with specialized care which include the right and skilled number of practitioners, equipment coupled with a family centered NICU that support the care of such children.

Pre-term babies are usually born to teen parents or women approaching their forties with other risks factors such as substance abuse, poor antenatal care, lack of good nutrition and poor health education to the expectant mother.

The pediatrician said preterm babies survive but with lifelong complications such as behavioral problems, neurological disorders, spinal cord and nerves issues which called for family centred support in nurturing and reforming their growth.

GNA