Dansa proudly sits cradling her 2 week old baby, Dhiibo. She is now at the end of a long Neonatal ICU admission.
Dansa’s was just 7 month pregnant when she presented to the hospital. She was referred from a local health center because her pregnancy was complicated with Pre-eclampsia, a serious condition in pregnancy associated with high blood pressure.
Staff at Moyale Hosptial decided the best course of action for both mother and unborn baby would be to terminate the pregnancy. Thus, Dansa was admitted to the labour and delivery ward and medication was given to start labour.
Hours later, baby Dhiibo, a 1 Kg female was born. By World Health Organization standards, Dhiibo would be below the threshold for viability, a technical term meaning the age at which she would be able to survive outside her mother’s womb without any problems. In addition, she was having problems breathing because her lungs were not well developed.
However, staff at the hospital were determined to not let this deter them. Dhiibo was immediately transferred to the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She was placed in an incubator and Intravenous Medications were started. She was also put on oxygen delivered thru a special type of device called CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.)
Baby Dhiibo went thru a challenging NICU admission course. Alarms were constantly going off from her monitors because her temperature and respiration were abnormal. At one point she also nearly exhausted the hospitals oxygen supply.
Despite all this, NICU staff, Abdujabar Hussien and Kenchi Wako, refused to give in. They spent day and night by her side, constantly adjusting her medication and oxygen to help keep her alive.
After a gruelling 3 days, baby Dhiibo’s condition slowly started to improve. Day by day, she needed less help to breathe. Thus, staff decided to start Kangaroo Mother Care.
Kangaroo Mother Care, or KMC for short, is a simple yet effective form of care developed for babies born before their date in developing countries.
Moyale hospital’s NICU has been providing this service since its opening 3 month back. Despite some resistance from mother and even grandmother, Dansa started to properly practice KMC.
By each passing day, baby Dhiibo grew stronger. She started breast feeding, gaining weight and being more active.
After 15 long days in the NICU, she is finally getting discharged, making her the second 1kg neonate to survive at the hospital.
Dhiibo is one of many success stories at the NICU. Thru the generous support of the Regional and Zonal health bureau, and above all thru the dedication and commitment of staff Abdujabar and Kanchi, the NICU has been able to deliver lifesaving service to the catchment population the hospital serves.
The unit plans to expand the services it delivers. An expansion project is in the pipeline, and a flagship neonatal resuscitation training course is in its final phases of completion.
However, for the time being, Abdujabar and kanchi are just happy are able to send the threesome back home.