The Obuasi Municipal Health Directorate on Friday, 27th November, 2020 marked World prematurity day in Obuasi. This year’s celebration was under the theme “Together for babies born too soon-caring for the future”. The day which is mostly celebrated in November is set aside every year to put spotlight on over 15 million children born prematurely.
Prematurity also known as Preterm according to the Medical Superintendent at the Obuasi Government Hospital, Dr. Kwadwo Nyarko- Jectey who himself was born Prematurely, is a child born in less than 37 weeks – 40 weeks. Preterm, he alluded to, is a leading cause of death among new-born babies.
According to Dr. Jectey, Preterm is a global issue and cannot be eliminated but rather can be reduced according to Ghana Newborn Care strategy and Action plan and the Sustainable Development Goal whose target is to reduce Prematurity in 2030.
He added that, when Prematurity occurs, the hospital does its best to help the child survive even though the best way to help reduce the risk of losing the child’s life is by incubation.
Currently, he emphasized. the hospitals do not have incubators due to the cost involved but Personnel have acquired knowledge to help these preterm babies survive by providing a resuscitation area where heat is been produced to help the babies survive since their survival depends on heat and oxygen.
Dr. Kwadwo Nyarko Jectey pleaded with stakeholders to come to their aid and support them with incubators and other medical equipment like Scanning machine since currently the hospital has 3 resuscitation areas to help sustain the babies.
Still on his request, he urged the media to give them some free airtime to help educate the public. “Even though we are doing our best under the circumstances, as Health practitioners to educate those in the rural areas on Preterm, we still need bigger platforms to reach out to the larger population”,he added.
The Member of Parliament for Obuasi Municipal Hon. Kweku Agyemang Kwarteng, speaking on behalf of Government, said he will ensure that more spotlight will be thrown on Preterm to sensitize the general public.
He added that, the ultra-modern maternity hospital will have the number of incubators but in the meantime, there will be an engagement with the hospital management to know what the government can also do to help curb the situation as they await the ultra-modern hospital.
The Municipal Chief Executive Officer Elijah Adansi-Bonnah also urged men to support their spouses during pregnancy and also accompany them when they seek antenatal care for them to be educated on pregnancy issues.
He advised the people present which were made up of Parents with preterm babies and pregnant women to be ambassadors of Prematurity.
Hon. Elijah Adansi Bonnah ended assured that the Municipal Assembly is always willing to offer a helping hand to the hospital whenever they call on them.
The World Premature day is mostly celebrated on November 17 but due to some circumstances beyond the control of the Obuasi Health Directorate celebrated it was celebrated on the 25 of November, 2020.