Monday, 28 November, 2022

Call for raising awareness about needs of premature babies

RAJSHAHI: Integrated efforts of all government and non-government organisations concerned can be the crucial means of raising awareness about the needs and rights of premature babies and their families.

Utmost emphasis should also be given on generating awareness related to the importance of experience and quality care from the health system to ensure their legitimate rights.

Health experts and other stakeholders came up with the observation while discussing and devising ways and means on how to attain the cherished goal in rallies and discussions in the region, reports BSS.

On behalf of its Public Health Improvement Initiative in Rajshahi (PHIIR) Project organised the rallies and discussions in observance of the World Prematurity Day 2022 in five upazilas simultaneously on November 17.

Upazila Health and Family Planning Officers Dr Golam Rabbani, Dr Ashikur Rahman, Dr Towfiq Reza, Dr Ruhul Amin and Dr Abdul Hakim addressed the discussions as focal persons disseminating their expertise on the issue at their respective workplaces.

Apart from a large number of community people, around 300 service providers, including the upazila health and family planning officers, junior child consultants, staff nurses, assistant community medical officers, midwives and community volunteers, joined the daylong programmes.

“A parent’s embrace: a powerful therapy. Enable skin-to-skin contact from the moment of birth” was the main theme of the day this year.

PHIIR project is being implemented in 5 upazila health complexes, 42 union health and family welfare centres and 110 community clinics of Rajshahi and Naogaon districts aimed at improving the health status of the target population giving special focus on maternal, neonatal and child health at primary health care level supported by Swiss Red Cross.

Talking to the agency here Sunday, Project Manager Tozammel Haque said the village people are being sensitised about the needs and rights of premature babies and their families.

In his remarks, Dr Ashikur Rahman mentioned that skin-to-skin contact has been detected as an extremely beneficial and effective practice, especially important in the case of premature babies.

Initiated immediately after birth, its best practice contributes to the initiation and sustaining of breastfeeding, and favors the stabilisation of vital parameters such as heart rate and blood glucose levels.

It also helps the establishment of a healthy microbiota, aspects of importance both in the process of adaptation to extrauterine life after birth and in the medium and long term coupled with aiding relaxation and deep sleep.

As long as clinical stability allows, skin-to-skin contact in premature infants is essential for a healthy and sensitive experience, Dr Rahman added.

Likewise, it is necessary to continue working with families to accompany and guide them in the appropriate care for babies born prematurely.

Prof Hasina Akhter, former head of the department of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital, told that a late preterm baby is born sometime between 34 and 37 weeks of a pregnancy. An actual preemie is a still developing infant born just under 32 weeks of gestation.

The tiniest of all babies is a micro-preemie, born at under 25 weeks into a pregnancy and weighing about a pound. The number one global cause of death in children under five years old is premature births.

It is very important that healthcare teams need to be aware about the multiple benefits for the baby and for the families and they should be devoted to and promote the right conditions for skin-to-skin care properly and optimally.

Prof Akhter opined that full-term pregnancies are important as the brain, lungs and other organs develop until the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Raising awareness is very vital for scores of children who are born prematurely every year. Referring to various medical journals and research findings, she said preterm babies still carry a huge vulnerability to develop cerebral palsy, delays in development, hearing problems and sight problems.