Kangaroo Mother Care clinic saves lives at Zebilla hospital

Medical Medicine

The management, and staff of the Zebilla hospital in the Bawku West District of the Upper East Region are saving lives of preterm babies with its Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) clinic.

The KMC is the act of putting a baby, skin to skin on the mother in a kangaroo position, and the clinic, is ran by dedicated staff of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the hospital every two weeks.

Aside the benefits of the KMC which is the safest way to keep the preterm babies warm, it complements the only two functional baby incubators in the Unit which serves the entire Kusaug area.

Mr Christopher Saganma Nambileeb, the NICU in-charge, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview, commended the Momentum Country Ghana Limited (MCGL) and UNICEF for the initiative to train NICU staff on how to establish and operate the KMC clinic in the facility.

‘Out of four health facilities in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions that were trained in the Eastern Region on how to establish a KMC clinic, we are the most outstanding facility managing the KMC clinic, and we have received lots of commendations for that,’ he said.

He said with the clinic, they were able to identify more than 10 preterm complications which they referred to higher health facilities for management, noting that ‘that is a success.

‘If we did not have the clinic, probably, those 10 babies would have just died and increased the infant mortality rate in the hospital, District and Region,’ Mr Nambileeb said.

Touching on critical activities undertaken at the KMC clinic, he said preterm and low birth weight babies were registered and scheduled for the clinic according to the severity of their conditions.

‘Some attend the clinic every two weeks and others every month. We do proper head to toe physical assessment of the babies, and through the assessment, we can identify complications of preterm deliveries and other conditions that are not related to the preterm.

‘We manage those that we can and refer those we cannot manage to higher institutions for proper management,’ he said.

Mr Nambileeb noted that staff of the NICU did not only school the preterm baby mothers during the clinic sessions on how to practice the KMC but taught them how to manage their preterm babies and identify some conditions and promptly report same.

He emphasized the need for families to accept, support and love preterm babies and their mothers, ‘One thing we have realised is that when women deliver preterm babies, the family relation with the mother and the babies is usually not the best.

‘We want families to understand that it is not out of place to give birth to a preterm baby. It is normal, we are not God, and we want members of the public to know that such babies are not evil. So, they should accept them and support the mothers,’ he said.

He expressed gratitude to Dr Abdul Rahman Ayobi, the Medical Superintendent of the hospital for his support and staff of the Unit for their contributions and encouraged them to continue to exhibit professionalism to uplift the image of the hospital in the Region and beyond.

Some preterm baby mothers at the facility who shared their experiences with the GNA, said the care of their babies was extremely stressful, and they almost lost hope on them, but for staff of the Unit who consistently encouraged them and shared success stories of mothers with worst preterm babies who survived.

Source: Ghana News Agency