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Cases of Premature Babies Overwhelm Kakuuto HCIV

An average of 20 premature babies and children with jaundice, a condition that causes yellowing of the skin and eyes is born every month compared to the previous years when the number was less than than 15 cases.
A premature baby in an incubator at Kakuuto HCIV

Audio 5

Kakuuto Health Centre IV is overwhelmed with an increase in the number of premature babies born at the facility. Most of the babies are born by underage mothers, between 13 and 17 years.

An average of 20 premature babies and children with jaundice,  a condition that causes yellowing of the skin and eyes is born every month compared to the previous years when the number was less than than 15 cases. This according to Christine Barbara Nalule, the In-charge of the Maternity Ward and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

However, 17 of the babies born last month were treated and discharged in good health condition, while three passed on.

//Cue In; ‘Obwana bwaffe…

Cue out………severe asphyxia."//

Nalule adds that lately, the facility records an average of 30 pregnant women every month, majority of them teens, who are given separate counselling and followed for more than a month to the Expected Date of Delivery.

//Cue in; ‘Abaana abato…

Cue out…abafuna jaundice.//

She noted that teen pregnancies have increased more during the COVID-19 lockdown a time when schools were closed and advised the teen mothers to seek early and regular antenatal care so that risks and other complications are identified in time.

//Cue in; ‘Obwana bwaffe...

Cue out…severe asphyxia."//

Dr Denis Erima, the In-charge Kakuuto HCIV, says that the facility has also received a donation of essential equipment including an incubator, phototherapy lights-used to treat jaundice, a resuscitator, oxygen concentrators and a warmer among others, to improve care for premature babies. Erima says they have also trained health workers to use the equipment.

//Cue in; ‘Neonatal care…

Cue out…byayina okukola.’//

According to Erimu, the number of mothers who need operations has equally increased from between 12 and 15, two years ago to 30 mothers every month.

//Cue in; ‘The general trend…

Cue out……period of time."//

The neonatal ICU equipment and theatre renovation was donated as part of the  Babies And Mothers Alive (BAMA) project managed by Brick-by-Brick Uganda. Vincent Mayiga, the Board Chairman -Brick-by-Brick Uganda says that they are committed to supporting health centres and hospitals to offer effective services to the people.

He explains that they opened up neonatal units in Kyotera and Rakai hospitals to save premature babies. Given the rising number of adolescents who get pregnant, Mayiga adds, they will continue counselling the pregnant teens and help them to deliver healthy babies.