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A care for premature babies


 A cross-section of mothers  at the World Prematurity Day   PHOTO:Cleopatra Eki

A cross-section of mothers at the World Prematurity Day PHOTO:Cleopatra Eki

Outreach urges govt to establish more emergency centres to reduce infant mortality
WITH roughly one in 10 babies born prematurely in the country, does the world care about premature babies? Yes, it does, setting aside a day in a year known as the World Prematurity Day to celebrate premature babies, their caring mothers and raising awareness towards reducing infant mortality with an improved healthcare system.

Olamide Ajayi’s son, Ayomide, was one of those babies. He was born at 27 weeks and had to spend
nearly 60 days in the Intensive Care Unit of Isolo General Hospital, where Ajayi would visit him before and after work and on weekends. “You see your baby and want to hold him but you can’t and you see him fighting for his life, hooked up to tubes and cords and things,” she said.

“Premature babies have high health risks due to their small size. It’s been two years, and Ayomide is a healthy, happy toddler. We do consider him a miracle, he loves to play and run around.”

Recalling the emotional battle she struggled with after delivery, she said: “It is a joyful moment because your baby was born but it is also scary and sad because he wasn’t supposed to be here this soon. When I was sent home from the hospital, it was really sad to leave without my baby. There weren’t many people I could turn to. All my friends that had babies gave birth to full term and so nobody, as much as they wanted to, could relate to me and what I was going through.”

Every November 17 is the World Prematurity Day. In Lagos, the day was celebrated with Outreach Medical Services (OMS), a leading provider of healthcare services, organizing a seminar in FESTAC Town for pregnant women and nursing mothers on how to improve the lives of babies and reduce the pains to both mother and child.

Dr. Efunbo Dosekun, Chief Executive Officer of OMS, said they have four emergency centres for mothers and babies, where they take care of very sick and premature babies. “We hope to partner with governments and philanthropists to improve the lives of babies, because we have observed that most parents cannot afford the emergency bills. Our aim is to reduce infant mortality.”

Dosekun maintained that the development of such child-friendly healthcare centres was essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of reducing infant mortality.

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