An estimated 15 million babies globally are born preterm every year which translates into more than 1 in 10 babies around the world and this number is rising. Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death for children under 5, causing an estimated 1 million deaths in 2015 globally. Many survivors of preterm birth face a lifetime of disability, including learning disabilities and visual and hearing problems.
LINC supported Dilokong Hospital in Sekhukhune District of Limpopo to commemorate World Prematurity Day on the 17th of November 2017. Present on the memorable day was the CEO of Dilokong Hospital, the medical officer responsible for neonates, the nursing manager, staff from the maternity and neonatal unit, and allied workers represented by dieticians, speech and audiologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists – essentially the team responsible for the optimal care and development of premature babies from birth and beyond.
Our guests of honour, our beautiful premies, and their equally wonderful moms were treated to valuable information on the possible causes of prematurity, clinical diagnosis of prematurity, how to care for a premie both in hospital and at home, key developmental milestones in the life journey of a premie and how to stimulate a premie to help them reach their full potential. Good nutrition was of cause the golden thread that ran through all presentations. What was glaringly obvious and commendable was the holistic manner in which premies were cared for by doctors, nurses, dieticians, physiotherapists, speech and audiologists and occupational therapists.
Guests of honour were also treated to goody bags bought by staff with their own personal funds to celebrate their little fighters. We salute and will continue to salute our brave premies and all the health care providers, allied workers and parents who work passionately around the clock to ensure that they survive and thrive!!!!