World Prematurity Day - 2019

Manipal College of Nursing and Kasturba Medical College Manipal observes World Prematurity Day

November 19, 2019

Every year, more than one in ten babies are born too early around the world and this ratio is on the rise.
To create an awareness of premature birth and address the concerns of premature babies and their families, World Prematurity Day is observed worldwide on 17th November every year. As part of this global event, Department of Child Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing in collaboration with Department of Paediatric, Kasturba Medical College, MAHE Manipal observed the World Prematurity Day.

Various activities were organized between 11th and 18th November 2019, with an aim to create awareness among staff nurses and mothers of premature babies.
A training session for 40 staff nurses of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on comprehensive care of preterm babies was conducted by Mrs Yashoda, Assistant Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing on 11th and 15th November 2019. She emphasized on maintenance of airway, breathing, circulation, thermoregulation, prevention of infection, nutrition, fluid and electrolyte balance and developmental supportive care.

An awareness session on Preterm Home Care was conducted for 20 mothers of premature babies admitted in the NICU of Kasturba Hospital by Mrs Binu Margaret, Assistant Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing on 14th November 2019. Mothers were educated on Kangaroo Mother Care, maintenance of body temperature, feeding of premature babies, prevention of infection, stimulation, developmental supportive positioning, hygienic care and follow up of their premature babies.

Dr Leslie Lewis, Head of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, KMC, Manipal deliberated on this year’s theme, “Born Too Soon: Providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place” on 18th November 2019. The session was attended by 60 health care professionals. In his talk, he briefed about the Golden Minute which involves stimulating the baby, positioning and suctioning the airway and assessment and ventilation of babies to help the babies breathe. He also emphasized on high quality care for intact survival of extremely premature infants and blend of technology with humanized care promotes optimum growth and development of the premature babies.

An interactive session was held between mothers of premature babies who were discharged and new mothers at hospital and the health care professionals on 18th November 2019. Mothers expressed their experiences in taking care of babies at home. A mother of a premature baby born at 6 months with birth weight 470 grams said, she had received good care and support during the hospital stay which helped her baby grow normally like any other baby. She added that NeoRaksha mobile app was very useful, which enabled her to monitor the growth and developmental milestones of the baby at home, connect to the health care professionals to clarify any doubts and get immunization and follow-up alerts. Also, she emphasized that the information materials about the care of baby at home, identification of danger signs, breastfeeding, nutrition and developmental milestones and stimulation was helpful to refer after discharge from hospital.

The development of the NeoRaksha App was financially supported by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. The app is developed as an intervention for empowering parents of premature infants with an aim to support the growth and development of premature infants as well as to connect mothers with community health workers (ASHA) and health care professionals at the hospital.

New mothers expressed their concerns and clarified their doubts with the Neonatology team led by Dr Leslie. He emphasized on the role of mothers and family members in rearing their children in a challenging environment.

Dr Sulatha V Bhandary, Head of Department of Ophthalmology, stressed on follow up and screening of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) as it is vital for early detection and treatment.
Dr Judith Noronha, Associate Dean, Dr Baby S Nayak, Head of Department of Child Health Nursing, Dr Jayashree, Dr Apurv Barche and faculty members from Manipal College of Nursing and Pediatrics department were also present. The day ended with developmental screening and follow up health check-up of premature babies. The total beneficiaries were 80 mothers of premature babies and 100 health care professionals.