We got a call on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 from the Medical Director of the Specialist Hospital, Obangede, Dr. Oluwadairo Ade. A baby had been born at 28 weeks weighing 0.9KG and was being managed at the hospital. The little girl was born aftermath of the death of her twin in utero.
Everything seemed to be under control and there was no need for an emergency assessment visit. Tiny Beating Hearts kickstarted an intervention through the Maternity Ward of the Zonal Hospital, Okene, which is a partner on our support project.
By the Friday, October 12, 2018, a team of 6 arrived at the Specialist Hospital to visit to see the baby and assess the condition of both mother and child.
We had been told before the visit that the baby was doing well and would have been discharged but for the expediency of ensuring she got her first shots of immunization to prevent the risk of exposing her to any complications that might arise from infection due to her low immunity. The team met the mother and her baby sitting on the porch of the hospital in a Kangaroo Mother Care position.
After preliminary discussions with the Dr. Ade and Matron Regina Esan, we were ushered into the room where the new mother had taken her baby to still in the KMC position. We were pleased with the progress the baby had made and the addition in her weight from 0.9KG to 1.05KG in a matter of days. The need for the mother to feed well was unanimously agreed upon and that seemed to be the only challenge at the time as the mother was from a family which could not afford to take care of a mother caring for a premature baby. It was therefore best to have baby still in the hospital where the hygiene of her environment was guaranteed to be high and support is being provided for the baby to get optimal nutrition.
As is customary and in line with the vision of TBHI, the team led by the Executive Director spoke with the mother giving words of encouragement and hope. The team also spoke about the need for family planning for Rahimat Ojo and her husband as a result of her history of multiple pregnancies.
Give her a name, already!
Describing the benefits of naming a child especially as it improves bonding, the team wondered why she was still called ‘baby’ and encouraged to give her a name. This got us a smile from the mother who we knew found the experience a little bit overwhelming but nonetheless grateful to the tremendous support she was getting from the hospital staff who treated her like family and TBHI.
Six days after TBHI’s visit, our baby now weighs 1.5KG. We are happy with her progress and know that the time for her immunizations is close.