Surya Hospital launches #SavePreemies campaign to save premature babies

Dr Bhupendra Avasthi explains the we need more NICU units and why #SavePremeies Campaign might be a boon for premies.

Do you know that newborn mortality, especially of premature babies is highest in India? Dr Bhupendra Avasthi, Paediatrician nd Neonatologist, Director and Chief, Surya group of Hospitals, Mumbai says,' Unlike earlier, where around 7.5 lakh babies born prematurely died every year, latest data show that the statistics have come down to 6 - 6.5 lakh every year, which is still a big number.' This is the reason why there is a need well -equipped hospital with proper facilities for neonatal babies including neonatal beds and trained medical and paramedical staff to look after the kids during their stay at the hospital. And this is why Surya Hospital has come up with #SavePreemies campaign to make sure the rate of mortality and morbidity of neonatal babies is lowered with proper care. Just like common health problems, neonatal mortality can be effectively dealt with and prevented with proper given, which is lacking in the current situation. In addition to asking support from the government for the same, we are planning to spread awareness about preterm babies and ways to lower the risk through meeting pregnant women and family personally, running campaigns on social media, talking to people through events and involving celebrities in promoting the cause to save premature babies, says Dr Avasthi. You may also like to read about 11 factors that increase your risk of delivering a premature baby.

Why #SavePremies Campaign?

In rural areas, out of every 1000 newborn babies, 30 are born prematurely, whereas the number in the urban sector are 25 premature babies of every 1000 newborn babies, which is supposed to be only 5 - 6 per 1000 births. However, the condition is far better in the state of Kerala, where it is less than 10. And this could be attributed to the rate of literacy (Kerala has the highest literacy rate in the country), low density of population and good NICU units at hospitals to cater premature babies'. One of the reasons why the rate of mortality is high in rural areas is the deliveries at home. Unlike deliveries at hospitals which have a good NICU, deliveries at home carry a high risk of infection and lack of proper facilities to look after premature babies leading to low survival chances of these kids. Here's how to take care of your premature baby at home.

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One can lower the risk of morbidity and mortality in preterm babies by choosing a hospital equipped with NICU facilities. Dr Avasthi says that before getting admitted to a hospital for a delivery, one should always check if the hospital has functional NICU (neonatal intensive care units) including level 1-3. The babies under NICU 1 are small (weigh less) but can be managed by proper care and hygiene. The babies under NICU 2 are small but need clinical intervention. However, in most cases, it is non-invasive in nature. The babies under NICU 3 are very small, prone to infection and require a lot of support. In some cases, these babies might need nitrous oxide treatment.

Hence, through proper awareness and providing facilities and care through NICU, the risk of morbidity and mortality of preterm babies can be lowered, which is the aim of #SavePremies Campaign.

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