By Ronald Kabuye
Ministry of health is to put more efforts in Kangaroo mother care system KMC for the routine care of newborns weighing 2000 grams or less at birth.
This in a bide to reduce preterm birth deaths which has proved to be one of the three leading cause of death in newborns worldwide.
In this KMC system the mother or relative provides warmth to the baby by a prolonged skin to skin contact, support early initiation of breastfeeding, bonding between mother and newborn and cognitive development of the newborn, thus leading to quick improvements in the health of newborns resulting in early discharge from hospital to allow excellent family-centered care for small newborns.
In Uganda, preterm born death contributes 42% of the death of children below age of 5 years. While approximately 108,000 children are born prematurely every year out of which 11,700 newborns die due to complications of premature. Up to 75% of these deaths in newborns are preventable with affordable solutions.
This has been revealed by the state minister for primary health care Hon. Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaduccu while revealing the arrangements of Uganda joining the rest of the world to commemorate the premature day on 17th November under the theme “Working together: Partnering with families in the care of small and sick newborns.” Ministry of Health, Uganda adapted this theme to promote the Family-centered care for small Newborns.
Ministry of Health, will use the day to launch KMC as a key strategy for feasible and effective intervention for born too soon and small newborns. In this arrangements, All Regional Referral Hospitals, District Hospitals and Health Centers IV in Uganda will be supported to establish KMC linked to more advanced care for sick newborn to ensure the continuum of care.
Moriko said Uganda is using the global partnership on KMC to accelerate in-country scale-up of KMC as part of a Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) sharpened plan implementation. Uganda aims at achieving a 50 percent increase in coverage of KMC by 2020 in line with the global target under Every Newborn Action Plan.
“We shall focus on advanced care for all newborns by establishing special care units in regional referral, district and health centre IVs. Oxygen plants have been established at all regional referral hospitals to support preterm babies when in the nurseries for critical care. The Ministry will strengthen human resource to provide the quality care for newborns especially the preterm.” she said.
some of the categories of pregnant mothers at risky of giving premature babies include the teenagers and those of advanced age, those with chronicle diseases like diabetes and hypertension, those who frequently give births, those who feed poorly.