As the world celebrated the international Women’s day on Friday, Mama Tulia Ministries organized a fundraising ceremony for prematures.
According to Isabelle Kavira Furaha, the director Mama Tulia Ministries, the fundraising was meant to raise money for preemie kits that are needed by mothers of premature babies.
“We realized the need to reach out to well-wishers to contribute something in our efforts to see that prematures. This way, we would help purchase kits that a much needed by mothers to look after premature babies,”Furaha said.
She said that the experienced she went through three years ago made her realize there is a need to see that mothers to prematures especially those who are not able to make ends meet need to be supported.
“I was in hospital and I didn’t know anything about prematures .The doctors had to teach me what to do and that experience made me realize there are so many mothers out there going through the same but cannot afford to properly look after their premature babies.”
According Agnes Kirikumwino, the head nurse at the Mulago Kawempe Special Care Unit,the earlier( before due date) babies are born, the less prepared their bodies are for the outside world.
“Prematurity causes a number of problems for babies all throughout their lives. Prematures have trouble feeding because the suck and swallow reflex is not yet fully developed,”Kirikumwino said.
“Prematures have a poor coordination problems if they are to suck, swallow and breath. When they suck and swallow, they forget to breath and so need to be aided in doing all this.”
The nurse said that premature babies are so vulnerable and need a lot of care which she said is a bit expensive that it is easily afforded by many mothers.
“Most mothers are too poor to afford looking after premature babies and they depend on donations from organisations and people like Mama Tulia. We need to support their efforts,”Kirikumwino said.
Dr. Margaret Nakakeeto, a neonatologist newborn specialist and the chairperson nature newborn steering committee in the health ministry said prematures is a big problem in the entire world but said efforts to deal with it are ongoing.
“We are working to ensure every new born baby survives and this way, we are working at putting in place kangaroo mother facilities at all health centre IIIs throughout the country,”Dr. Nakakeeto said.
“We want to develop sustainable responsive systems for the new born babies. Prematures is a big problem that we all need to come together in bid to fight it.”
The fundraising ceremony was meant to get money for over 1000 preemie kits for prematures.
The kit contains a kangaroo wrapper, which is a cloth used to secure the premature baby in mother's chest for prolonged skin to skin contact as well as protecting the baby from infection.
The kit also contains haemorfote which is an iron supplement since the baby’s bone marrow is immature to produce enough iron.
It also contains a feeding cup, baby hat, receiver sheet and feeding tubes among other items needed for premature babies.