NRH marks World Prematurity Day 2021

Elrick Corneius Olvivera, Emmauel Peter and Judd Akwasia.
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MEET these three young handsome lads from left, Elrick Corneius Olvivera, Emmauel Peter and Judd Akwasia.

All three are very special boys who were born prematurely meaning their mother gave birth to them months before the normal nine months of birth,

Elrick was born at only 7 months where he weighed only 1.2 kilograms, Emmanuel and Judd both below 1kg at 7 and 6 months respectively.

Today all three are in school, healthy and happy.

Thanks to the hands and hearts of the doctors and nurses whom had cared for them from birth right through to discharge.

On Wednesday 17th of November the trio together with National Referral Hospital (NRH) officials and staff, doctors and nurses of the Paediatrics department and officials from the Australian High Commission gathered in what was an inaugural marking of World Prematurity Day in Solomon Islands.

The World Prematurity Day is marked around the world on the 17th of November each year. Dr George Malefoasi Chief Executive Officer of Paediatric Department NRH, in his remarks explained that the Prematurity Day allows for time to think about how we can better improve support towards the needs of premature babies and their families and about raising awareness around these needs.

As such, Dr Malefoasi highlighted the current situation at NRH.

At NRH special care nursery is one of the busiest and always a fully occupied ward in the past years. Doctors and nurses constantly tried to create extra beds.

Group photo of all those attending and participating in the event

“In the past three quarter of this year, special care nursery has the highest bed occupancy rate of 166%, beyond the normal capacity hence the nursery has to expand into postnatal ward. There is only 14 beds for the very little ones and if we are lucky we get 20 beds.

“Literature has thought us that about 70 percent of premature babies are from week’s 34-36, and in Solomon Islands this is currently what we are seeing.

“Our own statistics at the hospital showed that from January to September 2021, of the total births of 4,668 births, 14 percent which is 695 babies were admitted to the special care nursery mostly due to premature dates or sick at birth,” stated Dr Malefoasi.