Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report

A new report entitled Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report came out two weeks ago and is the first of its kind. It provides global and regional estimates of preterm birth and illustrates how preterm birth is becoming an increasingly dire problem around the world, with highest rates occurring in sub-saharan Africa and South Asia. According to the report, after pneumonia, preterm birth is now the second leading cause of death for children under five, globally. Even for babies who survive preterm birth, there is a high chance that they will be permanently disabled, which adds an extra burden on to already struggling families.

The report is very informative regarding the problem, but it also suggests a plan of action and looks towards solutions, hopefully which, as the report outlines, will reduce infant deaths caused by preterm birth by 50% by the year 2025.

The goals to realize a solution include:

Prevention:

  • Preconception care package, including family planning (e.g. birth spacing and adolescent friendly services), education and nutrition especially for girls, and STI prevention
  • Antenatal care packages for all women, including screening for and management of STIs and targeted care of women at increased risk of preterm birth
  • Provide education to promote appropriate induction and cesarean 

Care of the preterm baby:

  • Essential and extra newborn care, especially feeding support
  • Neonatal resuscitation
  • Kangaroo Mother care
  • Management of premature babies with complications, especially respiratory distress syndrome and infection
  • Comprehensive neonatal intensive care, where capacity allows

It is wonderful to know that preterm birth is finally being acknowledged as a vitally important issue in need of address and action around the world, particularly in Africa. SAFE has already been working towards solutions of preterm birth, both immediate and longer term, particularly with regards to the antenatal care of preterm babies. As a result of the Light the Night solar panel project implementation, when emergency caesarean sections are required, many health centers around Uganda are now able to provide safer and more effective surgeries without fear of power loss. With this solar powered light, health workers can also provide better antenatal care to preterm infants and their mothers.

Furthermore, through educational sessions and community health fairs, SAFE empowers women’s and men’s groups to be more aware of important neonatal care issues such as good nutrition, sanitation, and immunizations.

SAFE’s motorcycle ambulance program also addresses the issue of surprise preterm labor and birth, by efficiently transporting pregnant mothers in labor to health centers, so that they may get the care, treatment, and maybe even surgery, they need.

Check out the full report by following this link:

http://www.who.int/pmnch/media/news/2012/preterm_birth_report/en/index.html

Heading to Uganda

From December 18th to December 31st, SAFE Founder Jacqueline Cutts and SAFE Technical Director Richard Cutts (also Jacquie’s husband) will be in Uganda to implement the Light the Night project. The objectives for the trip include:

  • Receiving the 20 WE CARE Solar Suitcases and 6 Humless solar units.
  • Installing 2 Solar Suitcases in the Jinja National Referral Hospital, and training the project partners in the installation of the units at the same time.
  • Training SAFE’s in-country staff in the installation, use, and repair of the WE CARE Solar Suitcases, so that the remaining Solar Suitcases can be installed post Cutts’-departure.
  • Installing 2 Humless Solar units at the Iganga District Hospital, 3 Humless Solar units at Ibulanku Health Center, and installing 1 Humless solar unit at Bukoteka Health Center. 
  • Hosting 1 community health fair to provide immunizations to 600 women and children while simultaneously improving awareness of the solar unit installations and the eRanger program.
  • Providing medical supplies to Bukoteka Health Center, who hasn’t been given any by their funding agency for almost a year.
  • Exploring ways to provide a source of income for the Bukoteka doctor and nurse, who haven’t been paid for a year either (exploring gift of a dairy heifer, milk-producing goat, or organic farming equipment, the byproducts of which could provide them with food or money).
  • Meeting with SAFE’s partnered women’s and men’s groups.
  • Checking in on all of SAFE’s projects.

Jacquie and Richard are excited to be undertaking these projects! If you would like to help, please send your donation to:

Safe Mothers, Safe Babies
Box 2205
Provo, UT 84603-2205
Feel free to designate your donation to a specific project if there is one that really excites you; SAFE will send you a receipt within 10 business days.
Thank you for your support–and check back for updates!

Do Something Seed Grant Implementation!

Kalalu Women’s Voice (women’s group) welcoming SAFE with a song.
Women in Kalalu Women’s Voice now incorporate nutrition education in their safe motherhood activities (especially a brand new safe motherhood home-to-home visitation program).
For the first time ever, the men of Kalalu–specifically of Bugya Bukye and KAMEDE men’s group–attended a safe motherhood training. Traditionally, local cultural views birth and child-rearing as a female responsibility; by participating in this training, these men are showing their commitment to safe motherhood–and we couldn’t be happier!

A men demonstrating “kangaroo care” as part of safe motherhood training.

One of the women’s groups fields, which will be used for planting the organic sweet potatoes and passion fruit seeds that were purchased by the Do Something Seed Grant, after the groups received organic farming training.

Webale inho (Thank you so much) Do Something!!!!