Congestion Takes Toll on Neonatal Unit at Mbarara Referral Hospital

Medical workers at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital are worried about the limited space at the facility’s neonatal unit.

Dr. Elias Kumbakumba a senior pediatrician and the head of pediatrics at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital says that the ward was designed to accommodate 10 babies but there are currently 40-50 babies.

He says the ward is always occupied by the mothers and their caretakers. 

Dr. Milly Nasegye, the in-charge Kangaroo Mother Care Unit says that they admit about 10 newborns daily. She says that due to limited space, mothers are forced to share beds.

Dr. Celestine Barigye the Hospital Director says that the same ward also acts as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He however says that there are plans to construct a four-storied building that will house a bigger neonatal ward.

Dr. Stella Kyoyagala a pediatrician says some of the serious conditions in mothers that cause the delivery of premature babies include hypertension, diabetes, malaria, Urinary and sexual Infections, alcohol consumption, and smoking. She advises mothers to always attend maternal clinics.

Children admitted to the neonatal unit often need breathing support given through their windpipe, and suffer from convulsions, failure to feed, severe chest in-drawing, jaundice, umbilicus redness or draining pus, skin boils, signs of local infection, and vomiting.

On Thursday, Uganda joined the rest of the world to commemorate World Premature Day under the theme “Parents Embrace A Powerful Therapy”.

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