13 November 2017
A special recognition for the Chiesi Foundation
Burkina Faso - During a routine examination at the 8th month of her pregnancy, Kalira Batta discovers that she will have two twins. The contractions begin, but the medical center of Pô, the health center closest to her village, is not equipped to handle a childbirth of two premature babies. Kalira is thus directed to the health facilities of the capital, Ouagadougou, 155 km away. The city is too far and the babies were born on the way: 700 grams the first one and just under 1.500 g the second one.
A desperate search for incubators to protect infants from hypothermia begins, but at the Yalgado hospital, the Ouagadougou's reference hospital, there are no incubators available. Kalira and her children are referred to the Saint Camille Hospital (HOSCO), a facility supported by the Chiesi Foundation since 2010, where children are accepted despite all incubators are already in use. Unfortunately, for the smallest child it is too late. His brother, however, is placed on a heating matress on time and the next day, being in stable condition, he is given back to his mother to start the kangaroo method (Kangaroo Mother Care).
The story of Kalira, very common in Africa, has recenlty been told by a local television. It is a very special recognition in the framework of the long collaboration between the Chiesi Foundation and the Saint Camille Hospital within the NEST Project. In fact, KMC's teaching is an essential part of the training activities delivered by the Chiesi Foundation, since a trainig module devoted to KMC has been developed by the Chiesi Foundation in collaboration with Birthlink and tested at HOSCO.
KMC consists in keeping the premature baby or low-weight in continuous skin contact with the mother or with a family memeber, like the father or grandmother. WHO refears to KMC as the ideal method for breeding premature or low-weight babies in developing countries: indeed studies show that its practice, compared with conventional treatments, is associated with a 40% reduction in mortality. It has also been observed that premature infants in KMC gain weight more quickly, they are less subject to infections, have less episodes of apnea and are discharged from hospital more quickly.
The proper practice of this methodology, together with the creation of dedicated area within the neonatology where mothers are encouraged to practice KMC as many hours as possible, were fundamental goals of the Chiesi Foundation's activities over the past year. This joint effort has led to the creation of a room dedicated to KMC within the new neonatology of the HOSCO, inaugurated in January 2017.
The local recognition of the central role of the Saint Camille Hospital in the management of neonatal emergencies in the area of Ouagadougou makes us proud and we want to share it with you. The neonatology staff of the Saint Camille Hospital embraced with committment and enthusiasm the practice of KMC and a wider path of continuing education to improve the quality of neonatal care. It's a tangible commitment that gives valuable results, first of all life. In Kalira's case, within two months her baby gradually gained a more stable weight, reaching 2.5kg. The name that the family chose for him means "the one who refuses injustices."