Every year, 15 million babies worldwide are born prematurely, with a high risk of mortality.
November 17 is World Day of the Preterm Newborn and anthat World Friends is tinged with purple to raise public awareness and increase attention on this issue.
THEcommon goal è improve the health of these children through correct information on prevention and more resources to be used for treatments, care and support.
The "preterm" are children who are born unexpectedly, not programmed, they face an exhausting battle for life from the first moment they come into the world, facing respiratory, metabolic, gastro-intestinal problems and a high incidence of neurological complications. long term. Wait these which become dramatically challenging in the absence of adequate health facilities and services.
World Friends works in Africa and in particular in the slums (slums) of Nairobi in a context where access to treatment is difficult due to the conditions of great poverty and the lack of health personnel.
In Kenya 1 in 8 babies is born preterm and the Nairobi government hospital is the only public health facility with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, with only 6 beds and, even if they are often busy using incubators to the maximum and optimizing the use of essential devices (such as fans), they are never enough. Often when a baby is born and activated in search of adequate care, the answer is negative. The alternative remains private hospitals but the costs are prohibitive, especially for mothers of preterm babies: women who are often too young, adolescents, who have had infections during pregnancy or have led very strenuous lifestyles, risk factors that are daily life in the context of the slums of Nairobi.
World Friends operates in line with the World Health Organization's “Born Too Soon” global action report (WHO) aimed at achieving to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular SDG 4 (for the reduction of infant mortality) and SDG 5 (for the improvement of maternal health), following the directives of the government of Kenya.
World Friends commitment, in this context, is that of work both alongside mothers by preventing the birth of preterm babies and assisting them before, during and after childbirth, and by taking care of these little children, to guarantee them the health care they need to survive.
World Friends in 2008 founded the RU Neema Hospital in the area surrounding the slums of North-East Nairobi. More than 2017 babies were born in this facility in 3000, 425 of which (14.5%) LBW (Low Birth Weight), with a birth weight of less than 2.5 kg. Of these 55 were under 1500 grams, the majority between 1500 and 2500, and even among the little ones most at risk, in the range between 1200 and 2000 grams, we have had many good stories of little survivors.
Indeed even a few minimal treatments, such as maintaining body temperature through Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), can make a difference. È also why that in the Department of Gynecology of the Neema hospital a room dedicated to the KMC is under construction, a place where mothers can be in close contact with their babies, breastfeeding them and promoting their development.