Every year an estimated 15million babies worldwide are born preterm and this number is rising. Bringing it home, preterm birth complications are one of the leading causes of neonatal (newborns) deaths in Zimbabwe with the country having a Neonatal Mortality Rate of 32 deaths per 1000 live births.
Born before their time, premature babies require intensive medical care and special equipment that for them develop fully and survive. This World Prematurity Day, Higherlife joins the world in shining light on preterm birth and the challenges related to the issue. Through the support of our partners the Elma Group of Foundations we are supporting hospitals in Zimbabwe to reduce the overall neonatal mortality rate, through the training of over 3 700 health care workers and the provision of critical maternal health equipment- such as the Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) which helps keep a preterm baby’s lungs inflated- to 8 Hospitals in Zimbabwe who receive complicated maternal cases including pre-term babies daily.
The placements and use of this critical equipment in maternity wards are improving maternal and neonatal health outcomes as they facilitate the correct risk assessments, diagnosis, and treatment of mothers and neonates across the nation.
Dr Marcia Mangiza explains how the equipment is helping save the lives of premature babies at her hospital.
In line with Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal 3, to “ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages”, our interventions are catalysing the achievement of the national goal to see the maternal mortality rate drop to 160 deaths per 100,000 and the neonatal mortality rate reduced to 12 deaths per 1000.