Photo: Ritam Banerjee/Getty Images for Save the Children
In India, over 900,000 babies die in their first month of life every year. Rekha Samant is a senior staff nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at King Edward Medical Hospital and Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College in the megacity of Mumbai. With 15 years experience as a senior staff nurse she is also one of a rare breed of nurses: she has a one-year diploma in neonatal nursing, which she obtained at SNDT University in Mumbai. Samant is a national trainer in Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) and the KMC Unit at her hospital is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence.
Despite the fact that nurses provide the majority of care to sick newborns in health facilities, there are very few nurses like Rekha Samant who dedicate themselves to newborn care, which is a major chalenge for neonatal units worldwide. There is an acute shortage of neonatal nurses internationally and particular in resource-limited countries where there is a desperate need for accredited training in advanced neonatal nursing practice.
"I sincerely believe we, the neonatal nurses, owe imparting tender care to our babies as they trust us with closed eyes," said Rekha upon receiving the first ever International Neonatal Nursing Excellence Award in 2010.
- Watch Rekha's story
- Read Rekha's interview: Long live newborns and neonatal nursing
- Learn more about newborn health in India
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