Report of Newborn Week Celebration and World Prematurity Day Celebrations

November 26, 2023

The Department of Child Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing, Manipal (MCON), Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), and the Department of Neonatology and Paediatrics, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal (KH) observed the Newborn Week celebration from November 15th to 21st, 2023, with various activities conducted in the hospital and community. The theme for this year was “Safety, Quality, and Nurturing Care: Birth Right of Every Newborn." The program was conducted with an aim to create awareness among the parents and caregivers of newborns and premature babies, healthcare professionals, students, and the public about the importance of providing quality nurturing care safely to newborns and premature babies to promote the growth and health of newborns, thus contributing to eliminate the preventable deaths of newborns in India and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG), i.e., “Good health and well-being.

To disseminate information on newborn health, an awareness program on the care of newborns was conducted for the parents and caregivers of newborns and preterm babies on November 15, 2023, by Dr. Binu Margaret, Assistant Professor - Selection Grade, Department of Child Health Nursing, MCON, Manipal. The session highlighted the importance of thermoregulation, breastfeeding, kangaroo mother care, prevention of infection, hygienic practices, care of the baby at home and developmental supportive care at home. A total of 26 parents of premature babies and their caregivers benefitted from the program and clarified their concerns.

To sensitize the nurses on newborn health, an awareness session on “Care of newborn” was conducted for 29 staff nurses of Dr TMA Pai Rotary Hospital, Karkala, on November 15, 2023, from 12.30 to 2.30 pm in 2 batches by Dr Yashoda, Assistant Professor- Senior Scale and Dr. Mamatha S Pai, Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing, MCON, Manipal. The session focused on essential newborn care and patient safety in the NICU. The session was well appreciated by the nurses, and their doubts were clarified.

A poster competition was organized for the nurses, students, and faculty members of MAHE on the theme “Medication Safety in NICU” on November 15, 2023. The total number of posters was 15. The best two posters were awarded. Ms. Glen Supretha, Staff Nurse from KH, Manipal, won the First Best Poster Award, and Dr. Mohammad Aqil N.B., Clinical Pharmacist, KMC Hospital, Attavar, Mangalore, and Ms. Kusuma B, NICU Incharge, KMC Hospital, Attavar, Mangalore, won the Second Best Poster Award.

A seminar on “Practical Issues in Infection Control in NICU” with 3 workstations was conducted on November 16, 2023, from 2.30 to 3.30 pm for 75 nurses, postgraduates, and students from different disciplines like pediatrics, nursing, and respiratory therapy. The session was conducted by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Assistant Professor, Dr. Jayashree Purkayastha, Professor, and Dr. Shruthi K. Bhardwaj, Assistant Professor, Department of Neonatology, KH, Manipal, and the postgraduates Dr. Vishwak, Dr Vaidehi, Dr Sakshi, Dr Avantika, Ms. Prasali under the guidance of Dr. Sheila Samanta Mathai, Professor & HOD, Department of Neonatology, KH, Manipal. The seminar highlighted the different aspects of infection control practices in the NICU including hand hygiene, the care of babies on ventilators, and the use of the Non-touch technique.

Community awareness through a talk in FM Radio 90.4 on “Nurturing Care – Birth right of every Newborn” for the public was done by MSc Nursing Students of MCON under the guidance of Dr Mamatha S Pai on 8th November and was telecasted on November 16, 2023, 6.45 pm and November 17, 2023, 2.45 pm.

Community awareness to the public was conducted on “Care of Premature Babies” through an interview on FM Radio 90.4 by Dr Yashoda on 14 November 2023 and was telecasted on 17 November, 4 pm and 18 November, 12.15 p.m.

Article on Survival of Preterm was written in the newspaper by Dr. Sheila S Mathai. It was published in Udayavani on November 19, 2023.

An educational talk on “Infection Control Practices in the NICU" was conducted on 20 November, 2023, 3.00 – 4.00 pm for 20 general duty workers by Ms. Jayanthi, Infection Control Nurse, KH Manipal.

A workshop on Developmentally Supportive Care was conducted for healthcare professionals, nurses, doctors, and postgraduates on 21st November 2023, between 2.30 and 5.00 pm with four workstations. Dr. Sheila Samanta Mathai gave an overview of Early Interventions in NICU for premature babies. Later, the participants were divided into four groups and different sessions with demonstrations were deliberated. Dr Sheila Samanta Mathai and Dr Yashoda gave an overview on Developmentally Supportive Care and demonstrated the different Positionings, Swaddling and Nesting techniques and the skin care guidelines. , Dr. Shruthi K Bhardwaj highlighted on the Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), its benefits and demonstrated the KMC positioning through a role play. Dr Rajendra Prasad, highlighted on the Stress and Pain Management of preterms in the NICU. Dr. Subhodh Shetty, Associate Professor highlighted the Healing environment ie, Light and noise management in NICU. A total of 45 healthcare professionals, nurses, doctors, and postgraduate students benefitted from the workshop. The workshop was well appreciated by the participants.

A formal program on World Prematurity Day and Newborn Week Celebrations was conducted on 17 November 2023 between 3.00 and 4.30 pm, and the NICU nurses and parents of NICU graduates were felicitated.

The Department of Neonatology, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal (KH) and Department of Child Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing, Manipal (MCON) observed the World Prematurity Day on 17 November 2023 with various activities. The theme for this year is “Small Actions BIG IMPACT: Immediate skin to skin care for every baby everywhere”. The aim was to create awareness about the care of preterm babies and celebrate the lives of premature babies and to honour the health care workers especially the nurses for the tireless efforts in providing excellent care to the premature babies.

V Adm (Retd)Dr Sheila S Mathai, HoD, Dept. of Neonatology, KH explained the significance of celebrating the World Prematurity Day and welcomed the gathering. Dr. Binu Margaret, Assistant Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing, MCON gave an overview of activities conducted during the newborn week celebration.

Dr. Leslie E Lewis, HoD, Department of Paediatrics, KMC, Manipal, in his address appreciated the mothers of premature babies as ‘Super Moms’ for their involvement in the care of their premature babies in NICU. He also appreciated the NICU nurses for the care and comfort given to premature babies in NICU and MCON for the active involvement in the activities related to newborn week celebrations. Dr Leslie highlighted the importance of providing cost effective care by the healthcare professionals. He called the parents to save a small amount of money in the child’s name every month, which can be utilized for the education of their children in future.

Dr Judith A Noronha, Dean, MCON, in her address, stressed that temperature regulation/ warmth, adequate nutrition and feeding and prevention of infection is the key to care the premature babies. She also emphasized that care, compassion and commitment of Nurses are essential for providing quality care and preventing complications. She congratulated the nurses for their service to the smallest of smallest and Dr Yashoda for the commitment and dedication in caring premature babies and initiating Developmentally supportive care in NICU.

Dr. Shruthi Kumar Bharadwaj, Assistant Professor, Department of Neonatology, KH spoke on the theme ‘Small Actions BIG IMPACT: Immediate skin to skin care for every baby everywhere’ and highlighted the importance of Kangaroo care for preterm babies and their mothers. Dr. Shruthi stressed that providing kangaroo care by parents for a minimum of 8 hours/ day can enhance the breastmilk secretion in mothers, boosts the immune system and decrease stress in the preterm babies. She also stressed that Nurses play a vital role in initiating the kangaroo care in NICU, educating and supporting the parents, where small actions through skin-

to-skin contact, can create a BIG impact. NICU of KH has started a best quality initiative of promoting Kangaroo care through recognising the Best KMC Parents champion and Best KMC Nurse Champion to motivate the parents and nurses of NICU.

The Chief Guest of the Program, Dr Avinash Shetty, Medical Superintendent of Kasturba Hospital Manipal, in his address, highlighted that the incidence of prematurity in Udupi District is comparatively less due the maternal and child health care provided in KH. He appreciated Dr. Diwakar and Dr Leslie E Lewis, former HODs, Department of Neonatology, KH, for the significant contribution and service in the growth of NICU in the last two decades. He acknowledged V Adm (Retd)Dr Sheila S Mathai for taking up the leadership in developing the neonatology department and the new initiative of developing the ‘Human Milk Banking’. He said that the cost of care in NICU is high, and Kasturba Hospital is supporting the parents in this regard, by giving concessions and exploring the funding sources. He complimented the NICU nurses for the commitment to nursing care of newborns and congratulated Department of Neonatology and MCON for organizing the World Prematurity Day.

Nurses working in NICU were felicitated for their excellent contribution in providing high quality nursing care and the Best KMC Champions of parents and NICU nurses were awarded. Ms. Glen Supreetha, Staff Nurse, NICU, KH was awarded the first Best Poster Award for the poster competition on ‘Medication Safety in NICU’ held on 15th November 2023

Parents of NICU graduates and parents of preterm babies who had been admitted were also felicitated during the program with certificates and mementoes. Parents of NICU graduates shared their experiences during the journey of taking care of their premature babies in NICU. They gave testimony for the excellent care and commitment shown by all staff towards their babies and expressed gratitude to the Nurses and Doctors for their support in nurturing care of their premature babies in NICU.

Dr Mamatha S Pai, Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing, MCON, proposed the vote the thanks. The whole program was hosted by Dr. Shruthi Kumar Bharadwaj. A total of 100 health care professionals including doctors, nurses, faculty members, postgraduate students and the parents and caregivers of NICU graduates attended the program.

The one-week event of Newborn week celebration and World Prematurity Day Celebration was coordinated by Dr Binu Margaret and Dr Mamatha S Pai from Department of Child Health Nursing, MCON, Manipal and V Adm (Retd)Dr Sheila S Mathai and Dr. Shruthi Kumar Bharadwaj, from Department of Neonatology, KH, Manipal.