The University of Nairobi (UoN) through its USAID funded Fahari ya Jamii project joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Prematurity Day at Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi County.
The occasion was graced by the Health CS Susan Nakhumicha who noted that preventing deaths among babies born too soon is a public health priority.
“In order to ensure our preterm babies, thrive and survive, the Ministry of Health (MoH) through the Department of Family Health has managed to scale up Kangaroo mother care across the 47 counties and also established Pumwani as the regional training centre/hub for kangaroo mother care’’ the CS said.
Skin-to-skin contact has proven to be an extremely beneficial and effective practice, especially important in the case of premature babies. USAID Fahari ya Jamii is supporting facilities like Pumwani to train HCWs to offer Kangaroo mother care to mothers with preterm babies.
Pumwani Maternity Hospital, East Africa's largest maternity hospital, has the highest number of skilled deliveries in Nairobi County, but it also contributes to high maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. It is a national and county priority to eliminate unnecessary maternal and newborn mortality.
USAID Fahari ya Jamii, in collaboration with Pumwani team, has supported emergency preparedness drills for 40 healthcare workers, continuous medical education, one-on-one mentorship on labour monitoring and prompt decision making for 60 healthcare providers, Emergency Maternal Obstetric and Newborn Care (EMONC) training, robust Maternal Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) committees, and care of clients in transit, particularly during the referral period. All of this has resulted in zero maternal deaths since July to September 2022.