Quality care for small and sick newborns – Kiwoko Hospital NICU

In Uganda, babies like Rose – who was born extremely premature and weighing just 750 grams – rarely live for more than a few hours. Can you help give them a chance at precious life, by supporting Adara’s work in maternal, newborn and child health?

“I was very worried because in our culture, people say that babies of that size don’t survive,” says Susan, as she looks down in awe at the tiny baby cradled in her arms.

The baby’s name is Rose and when she was born she weighed only 0.75kg. Babies the size of Rose struggle to survive anywhere, but in Uganda it is rare for them live for more than a few hours.

Babies born extremely premature (before 28 weeks) have a 90% chance of survival in developed countries. For low-income countries, chance of survival sits at just 10%. Susan was fortunate to have access to a facility that could save her daughter’s life.

Susan was less than 30 weeks pregnant with Rose when she suddenly went into labour at home. Shortly afterwards, she welcomed her little girl into the world – but Susan knew the worst wasn’t over yet. Rose was born extremely premature and was facing severe complications as a result.

Susan immediately contacted her sister who had studied as a nurse at Kiwoko Hospital. Her sister told her that the baby had the best chance of surviving in the hands of Kiwoko’s expert staff in its neonatal intensive care unit. With the help of her family, three hours later, Susan and Rose arrived at Kiwoko Hospital.

On arrival, the staff started to monitor Rose’s vital signs. She was placed in a radiant warmer to moderate her body temperature. The nurses helped Susan express breastmilk to feed to her baby through a nasogastric tube. Gradually, Rose began to improve and grow.

Adara has worked side by side with Kiwoko since 1999 in its work with at-risk babies, designing and delivering nurse and midwife training, as well as equipping and resourcing Kiwoko Hospital for high-quality care in its NICU.

We reached a milestone in 2018 when the Ugandan Ministry of Health recognised the Kiwoko NICU as a centre of excellence for the entire country.

In the Kiwoko NICU, survival for low-birthweight infants (those weighing less than 2.5kg) increased from 61% to 91% between 2005 and 2018. More than 1,200 newborns received care in the NICU in 2018.

Susan says she and Rose were incredibly lucky to live near Kiwoko Hospital and have access to its NICU. In the time Rose spent in the NICU, she gained more than 1kg and was eventually discharged at 1.77kg. Susan brings Rose back to hospital for regular check-ups.

“I am grateful to the Kiwoko NICU because I didn’t have any hope for my baby to survive,” she says. “But when I came to Kiwoko Hospital my hope was rejuvenated because of the care the baby was given.”

We are grateful for all donations. Every dollar of your gift will support Adara’s work on the ground in Nepal and Uganda, thanks to the Adara businesses, which pay for all core support, administration and emergency project costs. 

Please give your generous tax-deductible donation in any of these ways: https://www.adaragroup.org/how-you-can-help/donate/

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