Special Awards In Pictures

Liberia will join other nations around the world to commemorate World Prematurity Day. World Prematurity Day also known as “Born Too Soon” is observed on 17 November each year. The motto for 2017 is “Let them thrive” with sub themes; Quality care for the smallest, Improving care for the smallest, and Respectful care for the smallest.

World Prematurity Day is a key moment to focus global attention on the leading cause of child deaths under age 5, complications from preterm birth, which according to the United Nations Children’s Fund account for nearly one million deaths each year.
Without a major push to reduce these deaths, the world will not reach the Global Goal, endorsed by 193 countries to end all preventable newborn and child deaths by 2030.
World Prematurity Day supports the values and goals of Every Newborn Action Plan, an initiative of Every Woman Every Child movement, which mobilizes global multi-sectoral support to save the lives and improve the wellbeing of mothers and their babies.
The Day aims to raise awareness of preterm birth or babies born too early and concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide. It calls attention to the special issues facing infants born prematurely, celebrates the development and growth of older babies and children who were born too soon. The day also spreads information about how to help and support affected families.
A Press Release quotes the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Maternal and Child Survival Program’s (MCSP) Restoration of Health Services and Human Resources for Health Projects as having planned series of activities as a part of the Ministry of Health and partners’ activities for the day. This is in collaboration with its sponsored Pre-Service Education Institution to promote the campaign of “caring for premature birth” in Liberia.
Pre-Service Institutions expected to execute awareness programs to mark World Prematurity Day or Born Too Soon are; Monrovia-based Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts, and the Winifred J. Harley College of Health Sciences, United Methodist University. The other participating Pre-Service Institutions involved are; Esther Bacon School of Nursing and Midwifery, in Zorzor, Lofa County, Phebe Paramedical Training Program of Phebe, Bong County and the Midwifery Training Program for the Southeastern Region located in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.
The faculty, preceptors and students will collaborate with local community radio stations and conduct refresher training on care of the premature baby or baby born too soon and highlight the relevance of celebrating World Prematurity Day.
Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely, more than one in ten of all babies around the world.
Medically, the term prematurity refers to the birth of a baby born less than 37 weeks gestational age. It is also known as preterm birth or premature birth. Diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and obesity increase the risk of giving birth prematurely.
Premature birth is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide. Babies born too early may have more health issues than babies born on time, and may face long-term health problems that affect the brain, the lungs, hearing or vision.
Recently, it was revealed that midwives and doctors at five hospitals including Phebe Hospital in Bong County, serving at clinical sites for the Midwifery Schools are now recording successes in managing complicated maternal and newborn cases including preterm labor and the premature baby.
This initiative is credited to skills acquired from the Low Dose High Frequency (LDHF) process for provision of quality health care services implemented at the Phebe Hospital and four other hospitals (Curran Lutheran, Lofa, Martha Tubman, Grand Gedeh, Redemption and the Japanese Friendship Maternity Hospitals, Montserrado) by the USAID MCSP’s Human Resources for Health Project.
About a month ago, a 1.8kg baby was seen at Phebe and Midwife, Anne Marie narrated how the mother came in preterm labor and because delivery was eminent, they instituted the management of preterm labor protocol as they had learned.
The baby was born 1.8kg. Kangaroo Mother Care of keeping the baby skin to skin with the mother and other care including tube feeding with breast milk was practiced and now.
The little baby girl has started to breast feed. The mother and the entire family is happy because the mother and baby lives were saved.
World Prematurity Day was first observed in Europe in 2008, but it has since evolved into a worldwide annual observance.

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