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Kangaroo care saving babies’ lives

Trans Nzoia County Department of Health marked the World Prematurity Day with calls to parents to embrace kangaroo mother care as a powerful therapy that enables skin to skin contact between the mother and the child from the moment of birth.

Speaking during the celebrations, the new CEC Health Mr. John Pepela mentioned that the skill delivery percentage of the county’s health facilities is still very low at 67%.

“Our skilled delivery percentage at 67% means that there are so many premature deaths that are occurring back in the homes,” said Pepela.

Pepela confirmed that his department would step up its engagement and support community health volunteers to create awareness and improve the health situation at the grass root level.

He said that he would ensure the improvement of health facilities at the Sub county level IV hospitals adding that Cherangany would be the first phase to get an operational theatre and improved maternity wing.

The new CEC called on health workers to disseminate information to the women on the needs of attending prenatal and antenatal care sessions so as to handle emerging health issues early

He confirmed that the antenatal care visits have now increased from 4 to 8.

Dr. Inginia Rachael, a pediatrician at the Kitale county hospital, noted that the skin to skin care between breastfeeding mothers and babies helped the baby get the warmth from the mother, increase weight faster and grow healthier.

Dr. Ingina encouraged breastfeeding mothers to embrace the correct positioning and attachment for breastfeeding.

On her part, the County Director of health Mrs. Nancy Kegode cited risk factors of prematurity deaths such as low economic status where a family is not able to afford a nutritious meal, adolescent girls and failure of pregnant women to attend full prenatal clinics.

The Medical Superintendent at Kitale county hospital Dr. Francis Soita stated that according to their records, 7.3% of deliveries are premature deaths and that 40-55 new baby admissions yearly have been born prematurely.

Dr. Soita recommended that pregnant women need to be educated on proper nutrition, and the need to attend clinics in nearby health facilities and practice family planning.

By Ngeywa Mosobin

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