A National Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was inaugurated yesterday at the Dr A. G. Jeetoo Hospital, in Port-Louis, by the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Dr Mohammad Anwar Husnoo.
In his address, the Minister underpinned the imperative need of having an NICU which offers a dedicated space and services specialising in the intensive care of ill or premature newborn infants to save their lives. Newborn babies, he pointed out, have a fragile health and need intensive and prompt medical attention during the first days of life, otherwise they either die or suffer from long-term health complications.
The Minister observed that, previously, premature babies born at the Dr A. G. Jeetoo Hospital required transfers to NICUs of other hospitals, and that now onwards, the 25-bed capacity NICU combining state-of-the-art advanced technology with trained healthcare professionals, will ensure that premature babies are provided with the necessary healthcare. Moreover, while indicating that in Mauritius, there are currently an average of 13 000 delivery each year, with 500 pre-term babies among whom some 200 do not survive, the Minister highlighted the urgency to further reduce infant and neonatal mortality rate.
Minister Husnoo reiterated Government's intent to continue to provide quality health care by investing massively in the latest medical technology and appropriate modern infrastructure. According to him, along with these facilities it is essential to have a competent staff. The public healthcare sector is equipped with a pool of highly skilled and well-trained staff who are required to provide efficient services, he emphasised.
The Minister also recalled that an NICU was set up in the Flacq Hospital last year and announced another key project in the pipeline is the setting up of a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and a National Intensive Care Unit equipped with 15 intensive care ventilators, at the Victoria Hospital.