Mothers in Trans Nzoia have been asked to attend antenatal clinics that will help detect and mitigate on diseases that cause preterm births.
Speaking Monday when the county marked the World pre-maturity day at the Kitale County Referral Hospital, reproductive health officer Selpha Amuko named neonatal mortality and morbidity as the main risk factors in pre-maturity deaths.
According to Amuko, collaborative efforts were needed to reduce increasing number of pre-maturity births in the region.
She said that by mothers attending antenatal clinics as scheduled, early detection of the main contributors to pre maturity could be arrested on time.
Amuko who was addressing participants during the world prematurity day cited hypertension, diabetes and early pregnancies among youths as among the main contributors of the health factor
According to Amuko, most young girls who give birth in their early years have underweight children.
“Most of the infant deaths are caused by lifetime diseases like hypertension, diabetes, early pregnancies and lack of proper breathing and keeping warmth in their bodies,” Amuko said.
She asked expectant mothers to prioritise in giving birth at health facilities for safe births.
The officer said that Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) which has been championed to mitigate against cold among the infants is yet to be embraced among mothers having preterm babies.
“Kangaroo mode of infants’ care has been proven to be very successful internationally hence it is cheap and can be used locally in the villages to make progress among the premature infants,” Amuko said
Amuko added that the County referral hospital has established a Kangaroo mother care facility at the hospital to handle such cases whenever it received.
Meanwhile, Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) has rolled out a programme dubbed Chama cha Mamatoto that aims at giving out parenting care information through women groups.
Speaking during the celebration the programme manager Shilah Chelagat said the programme aims at giving parental information to pregnant women in the villages in partnership with the community health workers on both the anti-Natal and postnatal care.
Chelagat added that apart from the health care lessons and programmes to the women groups through Chama cha Mamatoto, they have established table banking initiative in order to empower the local women financially.
“Most women in the villages say they don’t have money or transport to visit the hospital for antenatal care through this initiative, women get transport and other necessities to enable them go to the hospital,” Chelagat said.
The celebration was marked by donations of gift hampers to the children and women who are with their infant babies at the County referral hospital Kangaroo Mother Care unit.
By Pauline Ikanda