By Obegi Malack
The Kajiado County statistics show that between the months of May to October 2022 alone it recorded a total of 887 pre-term births.
The statistics were issued by Alex Kilouwa, County Executive Committee member in charge of health, Kajiado County during marking of Prematurity Day in Ongata Rongai sub county hospital.
The officer said global statistics show that about one in ten of all babies are preterm-born.
Kolouwa said hunger and inadequate food supply are still affecting large parts of the County’s population with serious consequences for health and well-being felt by women and children.
This year’s World Prematurity Day theme is: “A parent’s embrace: a powerful therapy. Enable skin-to-skin contact from the moment of birth.
“We are raising awareness that Skin-to-skin contact establishes the basis for the best development. It promotes the onset of breastfeeding, It also promotes a healthy intestinal flora,” he said.
Kajiado data also shows that prevalence of malnutrition in Kajiado County is 10% higher than the national of 4% and stunting levels of 25.3%.
Kalouwa said preventing deaths among babies born too soon is a public health priority. Nearly 85% of preterm babies are born between 32- and 37-weeks’ gestation and most of these babies do not need intensive care to survive. Preventing deaths and complications from preterm births starts with a healthy-pregnancy.
“If one experiences preterm labour or is at risk of preterm childbirth, treatments are available in our health facilities to help protect the preterm baby from future neurological impairment as well as difficulties with breathing and infection,” he said.
The county government has prioritized some key interventions in various health facilities including counseling on healthy diet, optimal nutrition, and tobacco and substance use; fetal measurements including use of early ultrasound; and a minimum of 8 contacts with health professionals throughout pregnancy to identify and manage risk factors such as infections.
The CECM member launched this year’s Malezi Bora week.Malezi Bora program is an initiative implemented nationally as a strategy to accelerate the utilization of maternal and child health and nutrition services offered in county health facilities.
During this Malezi Bora period, families and communities are encouraged to practice preventive measures such as ensuring that expectant mothers attend antenatal clinics, deliver their babies in health facilities, ensure children are taken for immunization, practice exclusive breast feeding and Vitamin A supplementation to boost their immunity and that of their babies. Vitamin A boosts immunity, reduces incidences morbidity and prevents night blindness.