PREMATURE Babies Organisation has stepped in to provide medical equipment support to Amana Regional Referral Hospital in Dar es Salaam aimed at reducing deaths of premature babies.
The equipment donated included four incubators, feeding cup boilers, pampers and baby oil as well as bathing soaps, said the organisation's Chairperson, Ida Luhanga during a press conference held at the hospital recently.
"Our aim is to create awareness and provide education to all mothers, while supporting the lives of premature babies," she asserted. She further said that the organisation decided to provide the support after realising that they are required in supporting premature babies' health and wellbeing as well as their mothers' hygiene. "The organisation was established with the purpose of helping mothers to reduce challenges they face after delivering premature babies. "Most mothers who deliver premature babies end up staying for months to a year in a hospital taking care of them, a situation which in most cases cause her to lose her job and even her spouse... that is why we decided to provide awareness to both parents so that they understand and become patient," she added.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 15 million babies in the world are born prematurely, while 87 per cent of them die within a year.
Elaborating, Ms Luhanga cited some reasons which lead women to deliver a premature baby, which she said include her being diabetic, squeezing the baby while still in the womb and uterine rupture.
On her part, the ViceChairperson of the organisation, Ms Marium Ibrahim encouraged mothers delivering premature babies to ensure they accept and take care of their babies despite the numerous challenges they face.
Equally, she urged them to trash all sorts of misconceptions about premature babies that it is a curse to have one, saying: "Premature babies are no different from any other babies and have rights to live and be taken care of." Commenting, the Premature Babies Organisation's Secretary General, Mr Edgar Luhanga said some reasons which might lead a woman to lose her premature baby also include lack of education and awareness on how to take care of them.
"Lack of awareness leads to extreme stress to parents, especially mothers who over stay in hospitals for three or more months. The anxiety may also lead to the reduced production of breast milk to feed the baby," he explained.
However, one of the mothers, Ms Mariselina Julius thanked the organization for its support, which she said will help them during their stay in the hospital.
"We urge other people and organizations to also offer their support, because premature babies require more attention and care," she said, while appealing to such parents not to listen to unfounded allegations that a premature baby is a curse to the family.