The Paediatric Unit of the University of Ghana Hospital has marked this year’s World Premature Day with pre-term babies delivered in the hospital over the last year. The celebration which was under the theme: “Working together: Partnering with families in the care of small and sick newborns" took place at the antenatal ward of the University hospital on Friday, November 23, 2018.
Mrs. Stella A. Amoa, Director of Public of Affairs, chaired the ceremony. In her opening remarks, she commended the Unit for their commitment and dedication which she noted, had enabled them to chalk many successes in handling preterm babies.
Mrs. Stella A. Amoa, Director of Public of Affairs
In brief remarks, Dr. Eugenia Ofori-Adjei, a consultant paediatrician and former head of the Paediatric Unit of the hospital, recounted the challenges faced by the unit, and recalled some of the success stories. According to Dr. Ofori-Adjei, in the past, most of the preterm babies delivered in the hospital were referred to other hospitals due to the unit’s limited facilities. While some survived, a considerable number could not make it. The mortality rate of the referred cases prompted the decision to keep all preterm delivered in the facility and still with limited facilities and give them the best care under the prevailing conditions and improve their survival rate. She was happy to note that the decision to keep the preterm in the hospital had been a success.
Dr. Ofori-Adjei further commended all staff of the unit for their dedication and assured all present that, the hospital has the capacity to deliver and take care of preterm babies. She appealed for modern facilities to cater for newly born babies and charged the hospital to support with laboratory services, and the establishment of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Dr. Eugenia Ofori-Adjei, Consultant Paediatrician and former Head of the Paediatric Unit - UG Hospital,
Dr. Christian Amenuveve, Director of the University of Ghana Health Services paid glowing tribute to the staff at the Paediatric Unit and the hospital staff as a whole. He further commended the University’s management for the support they have given to the hospital over the period. The Director expressed his desire to see the establishment of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the hospital. The NICU, he said, will enhance the skills of the staff and help make a larger impact on the society.
Dr. Christian Amenuveve, Director of the University of Ghana Health Services
Dr. Abena Agyeiwaa Tetteh, Senior Medical Officer at the University in an address indicated that the ceremony was to celebrate preterm babies that were delivered in the facility. According to her, the University of Ghana Hospital has made great strides in ensuring preterm delivered in the facility survive. She noted that last year, the Unit saw about 30 babies between 29-36 weeks gestation and birthweight of 0.9kg to 2.0kg being successfully delivered with all surviving till date.
Dr. Abena Agyeiwaa Tetteh
The ceremony also witnessed presentations and demonstrations on the care of preterm babies to educate parents. Parents were also grateful to the unit as they shared their story on the support and care they have received from the University hospital. A roll of preterm delivered at the facility was given by Dr. Abena Agyeiwaa Tetteh.
Some happy parents pose with UG Officials
World Premature Day is celebrated on 17th November every year with the aim of creating awareness of the challenges and burden of preterm birth globally. The day was initiated by European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) and partnering European parent organisations in 2008.