547 premature babies were recorded by the Paediatric department at the National Referral Hospital, NRH, since 2016.
Babies born well before their expected due dates and having low birth weights are called prematurity births.
NRH Paediatrician, Dr Stephen Lumasa revealed the figures in an exclusive interview with SIBC News.
“In 2016 the number of cases we detected or that came up in our data collection, it’s about 192 premature babies and then by 2017 it’s about 227 the number has increased a little. Up to yesterday according to our data entry it’s up to 128 cases that are delivered here at NRH where we have admit them at the Special Care Nursery,” he said.
“These are about 128 so far are premature babies. This is not taking into account babies that were born outside of NRH, so these are the ones we have admitted.”
Meanwhile Head of the Paediatric department, Dr Titus Nasi said early pregnancy is also a contributing factor to premature births.
“We are seeing very young mothers, early pregnancy. Our law stated that 18 years and below is underage but we are seeing those cases that traditionally or unfortunately young girls get pregnant and then some of them even they are still babies themselves delivering babies,” he said.
“Some of them we have to give keep them for two to three months in the ward because we feel it is not safe to send both of them home to support them and then maybe other social issues that lead to those things.”
BY: Rickson Bau.