The Agona Swedru Municipal Hospital in the Central Region on Thursday observed the world prematurity day to raise awareness of pre-term birth and the concerns of pre-term babies and their families.

The day, which was commemoareted at the hospital’s maternity ward, brought together pregnant women and health officials to discuss the concerns of pre-term babies.

Prematurity birth is the leading cause of deaths of children under five years.

Although Ghana has progressed to reduce under-five child deaths, the country has not achieved the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 target, largely due to the high number of deaths in babies below one month old.

Speaking to Citi News on the occasion to observe the day, the Medical Superintendent of the Agona Swedru Municipal hospital, Dr. Dzodzebey Akpetorgba, said there is the need to place priority on this day as pre-term babies form a significant part of infant mortality in the country.

According to him, educating mothers on premature birth will help them take good care of such babies in order to prevent infant deaths in the country.

“It is very important to celebrate this day and educate mothers on preterm births because it forms a significant part of maternal records in the country. There are a lot preterm babies who were born, but after getting the needed care they are now are alive and strong.” he emphasized.

Dr. Dzodzedzebey revealed that, the Agona Swedru municipal hospital has recorded over 200 preterm babies out of 4,443 babies born this year.

The causes of preterm babies can be either natural or poor genetic constitution of young pregnant patients. Such babies are usually delivered between 32 weeks and 34 weeks, instead of 37 weeks of normal pregnancy.

He also advised the pregnant women to keep breastfeeding their new born babies.

“Preterm becomes an issue because babies are not fully developed to adapt to their new environment.” he stressed.

Over 140,000 premature children are born in Ghana annually.

Source : CitiFMOnline.com

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