Regular antenatal care key to preventing preterm delivery — Dr Bogee
The Head of the Newborn Care Unit of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, Dr Gillian Bogee, has underscored the need for pregnant women to attend antenatal care regularly to prevent them from delivering preterm babies.
“Obviously, it is during the antenatal care that complications associated with the pregnancy which predisposes the mother to having preterm baby can be detected by the health workers and solved,” she stressed.
She said if pregnant women did not attend antenatal care as expected, they become at risk of giving birth to preterm babies since health personnel could not monitor them and deal with the dangers associated with the pregnancy.
Dr Bogee was speaking at a brief ceremony organised by the management of the hospital to climax this year’s celebration of World Prematurity Day last Friday.
World Prematurity Day is observed on November 17 each year 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 babies born worldwide.
She explained that if the pregnant woman’s blood pressure and urine proteins were not checked and the mother lived unhealthy lifestyle as well it made the uterine environment very unfavourable for the baby.
She stressed: “These factors coupled with others, if not addressed, makes pregnant women vulnerable and predisposes them to having low birth weight babies”.
She stated that annually the unit sees between 1,200 and 1,500 pregnant women out of which the second leading cause of admission is preterm babies, stressing “between January and October this year, 1,152 had been admitted at the unit”.
Additionally, out of the total number of babies admitted at the unit this year, 530 representing almost half of the babies admitted were preterm babies and added that the Kangaroo mother care method adopted by the unit had helped in the proper care of the babies.
On the capacity of the unit, she noted that the 21-bed unit received about 32 babies making the unit smaller due to the increasing number of admissions, adding that “the unit urgently needs more logistics and personnel to take care of the increasing number of babies”.
For his part, the Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr Suntaa Aiden Saanwie, said since the establishment of the unit in 2014, it had been able to chalk up moderate and important successes especially the setting of the Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) unit.