The Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) has marked this year’s World Prematurity Day with a call on members of the public to support parents of preterm babies instead of mocking them.
Madam Victoria Agwiah, a Neonatal Nurse Specialist in-charge of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), TTH, who made the call at the event in Tamale, said ‘The public should cooperate with us because a mother, who has delivered a preterm baby, goes through a lot of stress. They should support that parent to be able to care for the baby. They should not mock them because those babies will grow to become what they want to become.’
Preterm babies are babies delivered before the 37th week of pregnancy, and they come with complications such as immature lungs, difficulty regulating body temperature, poor feeding and low weight gain.
The World Prematurity Day is marked on November 17, every year to raise awareness of preterm birth and the concerns of preterm babies and their families.
This year’s event was on the theme: ‘Small Actions, B
ig Impact: Immediate skin-to-skin care for every baby everywhere’.
The TTH’s event, supported by KEK Insurance, was also used to graduate 50 preterm babies from the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where they had been receiving care at the NICU for one year.
During the event, parents of preterm babies shared their experiences of taking care of their preterm babies and expressed gratitude to health staff at the TTH’s NICU for their care and dedication, which had helped to ensure that their children remained healthy.
On average, the TTH’s NICU receives 680 preterm babies every year, and within the past five years, it has recorded a significant improvement in their survival rate.
Madam Agwiah told parents of preterm babies to adhere to advice from health staff, saying ‘When you deliver a preterm baby, it is not a curse. There is still a way out for you. When you follow the lessons we give you, they can catch up because when they grow up to three months, they catch up with other babies. They will be ou
t of complications.’
Mr Musah Salifu, Director, Nursing Services, TTH encouraged parents of preterm babies not to despair and urged men, to support their wives, adding ‘They need the whole family’s support to be able to go through this experience.’
Pastor Whaley Asonre Aboungo, District Pastor at Seventh Day Adventist Church, Kaladan, Tamale, who is father of a preterm baby, said it was a difficult experience, which had its own challenges adding the experience had increased his faith in God.
He added that ‘It made me understand that as humans, you cannot declare somebody dead. It is only God who can decide who survives and who does not survive. At a point I thought my daughter would not survive, today I have a story to tell.’
Madam Fayudatu Yakubu, mother of a preterm baby, said giving birth to a preterm baby helped her to find her life’s purpose as she had started the Balmaisha Foundation to support other mothers, who had preterm babies.
Source: Ghana News Agency