Director for Reproductive Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Fannie Kachale has called on Malawians to take part in saving lives of premature babies.
The call comes at a time when the country is commemorating World Prematurity Day.
The day falls on November 17, but due to other circumstances, Kachale said Malawi decided to hold the commemorations on November 30.
She said globally, the range for babies that are born prematurely called preterm ranges from 5 to 18 percent.
In Malawi, she said, 10.5 percent of babies born prematurely which means that the problem is very huge.
Therefore, Kachale called on all stakeholders to take part in supporting preterm babies because they have several needs due to the nature of their birth.
She said currently, the ministry has put on several interventions to support and manage prematurity like encouraging women to go for 8 antinatal visit so that they should be mornitored by health workers, provide antimalarial treatment like mosquito nets to prevent malaria as one factor that contribute to prematurity birth and once they give birth to the preterm babies, Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is encouraged immediately after birth.
Speaking with the Country Director for Neonetal Essential Solutions and Technologies- (NEST) Program in Malawi, Evelyne Zimba said they work hand in hand with the ministry in supporting and providing equipments mostry for premature babies.
She said so far, NEST has managed to donate equipments to 38 facilities that includes all 5 central hospitals, all 28 district hospitals including 9 CHAM facilities to address prematurity.
They have also donated equipments to all training institutions, both government and CHAM facilities.
Malawi commemorates the day under the the theme; “A parent embrace: a powerful therapy.enable skin to skin from the moment of birthday “.