Survive and thrive: Maternal, newborn and child health
Articles,  Blog

Survive and thrive: Maternal, newborn and child health

in the developing world there’s a lack
of access to health care for mothers and their babies which can have tragic
consequences. For more than two decades Adara has worked in maternal, newborn
and child health delivering deep service sharing knowledge widely and showing
what’s possible for communities living in remote and low-resource settings. In
1999, the Adara team went pumping down the red dirt road to Kiwoko Hospital in
Central Uganda. We formed a deep partnership; at its heart has been the
development of Kiwoko’s first neonatal intensive care unit – the NICU. Now more
than 1,200 babies receive care in this NICU each year and in 2018 the Ugandan
Ministry of Health named it a center of excellence in newborn care. From many
years work in the NICU we’ve learned the interventions that can have the biggest
impact on some of the tiniest lives. When newborns experience respiratory distress
and are unable to get enough oxygen it can be fatal. For premature babies this
is the leading cause of death. So Adara has worked closely with Kiwoko Hospital, PATH, the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s
Hospital to design and trial a low-cost continuous positive airway pressure kit
commonly known as CPAP, a device which uses gentle air pressure to keep an
infant’s lungs open. As 100% oxygen can be toxic to babies’ eyes and brains, the
CPAP kit includes an oxygen blender to ensure these fragile babies receive the
ideal levels of oxygen. This device could save tens of thousands of lives in low-resource settings each and every year as crucially these units can be operated
without power. Hand in hand with Kiwoko we also support a maternity ward that
cares for more than 3000 women each year Our support for newborns and their
families continues after they leave hospital through our Hospital to Home
project. Hospital to Home starts by strengthening discharge processes inside
that Kiwoko NICU. The support continues through a network of community health
workers that provide ongoing care to families at home for six months after
discharge. Now we have a chance to identify issues and intervene early
giving these infants the opportunity to survive and thrive working with Kiwoko we host monthly safe-motherhood clinics, giving access to antenatal care, family planning and
immunisation services in the community The programme also works with community health workers who create a bridge between the community and the formal
health care system. We are also trailing a community-based early intervention
programme delivered in small groups to young children who are living with a
disability. The project is called ABAaNA and we’re working with our collaboration
partner, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Uganda Research Unit. The training is focused on empowering caregivers by increasing understanding
of their children’s needs Thanks to 20 years of learning and
growing with Kiwoko Hospital, we’re now taking our knowledge and expertise in
newborn care and sharing it with other facilities.We began piloting a newborn
training project with nearby Nakaseke the only public hospital for a catchment
area of more than 1.7 million people already in the first 12 months of
Nakaseke’s new special care baby, unit 517 babies have received care with a
remarkable 99 percent survival rate Together, Adara and Kiwoko Hospital are working alongside the Ugandan Ministry of Health
to provide support, guidance and advice as they develop more neonatal units
across the country. We will do our best to support and equip them with
theoretical knowledge and practical skills to save more newborn lives. Our
work is only just beginning and we have huge plans to expand our reach. Because
we believe that every mother, every newborn, every child and each and every
person deserves access to quality health care no matter where they live
Come join us

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