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Cross-infections threaten lives of pre-mature babies at St Elizabeth Hospital  

Cross-infections are threatening the lives of pre-mature babies at the Hwidiem St. Elizabeth Catholic Hospital in the Asutifi South District of Brong-Ahafo.

This is because the hospital lacks incubators at the neonatal unit, a situation which has compelled authorities to place three or four pre-mature babies in an incubator, causing congestion.

The management of the hospital said it was recording increased pre-term babies because it received referrals from Ahafo Ano North District in Ashanti, Asunafo North and Asunafo South as well as Asutifi North District in the Brong-Ahafo Regions.

Dr Dora Dapaah, the hospital’s Pediatrician, said the “improvised” neonatal intensive care unit of the hospital was designed to accommodate only four pre-mature babies, but currently it is accommodating about 28 babies- causing congestion.

Speaking at a durbar to commemorate the 2018 World Pre-maturity Day held at Hwidiem, Dr Dapaah expressed discomfort over the situation and appealed to the public to support them with incubators and funds to expand the unit to save the lives of the innocent babies.

World Pre-maturity Day, instituted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) falls in November 17, every year, and celebrated internationally to raise awareness of preterm birth and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide.

Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year accounting for about one in 10 of all babies born worldwide.

The theme for this year’s celebration is: “partnering with the families in the care of small and sick newborns”.

Dr Dapaah said the hospital admitted three to four cases of pre-mature births every month and because the District has no ambulance it could not refer cases to other districts.

She said because of the bad condition at the unit, the medical officers at the hospital contributed individually and bought incubator for the unit, but added that since then the cases have continued to increase.

Dr Ivan A. Muanah, the Medical Director of the Hospital, said the hospital required GHC 150,000 to expand its neonatal unit and appealed to NGOs, philanthropic organizations and individuals as well religious and corporate bodies to come to their aid.

He said the hospital was fast growing, with Out-Patient Department cases increasing between 8,000 and 10,000 every month.

Dr Muanah said the facility requires more pediatricians to cater for the increasing cases of pre-term babies and appealed for an ambulance as well.

Source: GNA

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