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Friday, February 1, 2013

Saving Babies Lives at the New Baby Unit

It wasn't the best start in life. In fact, "life" and "start" probably shouldn't be used to describe it, as the little (barely over a kilo) lifeless baby turned steadily greyer as her helpless mum looked on. The simple truth is that this is Uganda and she was well on her way to becoming one of the 39,000 babies that will die this year before they reach 28 days old.

Well that might have been the story if this was 2012. Or even a week ago. But for this little 'un, "life" itself was about to explode onto the scene with a bang! Seeing the life leaking out of her, the attendant nurse rushed to the newly opened Baby Unit, just down the corridor. After greeting everyone meticulously, as we do here, she very politely wondered whether any of the present doctors and nurses being expertly trained by our very own Dr Sarah in resuscitation would mind coming down the hall to check on the very small baby of our story. Cue a rapid exit of the "Baby Rescue Team"!

However, it wasn't looking good. Dr Sarah recalls: "Honestly, we felt like it was getting futile, but with all our new nurses observing, it seemed a good thing to continue until we had emphasised all the important parts of baby resuscitation." Suddenly, things changed: "However, Praise God (x100!), after removing all the milk from her stomach, she suddenly decided to start breathing again! What a blessing that we had all been there training! A serious case of God’s good timing!"

Dr Sarah, along with others at Kitovu Hospital including Nurse Brigitte, have moved heaven and earth to get this baby unit up and running, managing all the challenges of setting up a new programme in a busy, under-resourced, over-stretched hospital. You too can be part of it - we're looking for regular gifts that can help pay the running costs. And our Miracle Baby, as we call her? She's still doing fine :)

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