Pregnant mothers should fulfill their antenatal visits to avoid prematurity
Prematurity is a term for the broad category of neonates born at less than 37 weeks’ gestation. Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal mortality and the most common reason for antenatal hospitalization.
Globally,15 million infants are born preterm each year and one million of them die;over 60% of these cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa and south Africa.
In Uganda, approximately 226,000 babies are born too soon each year and 12,500 under five years die due to direct pre-term complications.
As Uganda joins the rest of the world to mark World Prematurity Day 2020 today, Dr. Charles Olaro the director curative services at the Ministry of Health, says prematurity is the leading cause of death in children adding that Uganda is ranked 28th worldwide in preterm birth which is estimated at about 13.6; 14 children in every 1,000 births are born preterm.
Speaking to Crooze fm, Dr Brian Besiga from Sure Life Medical center Mbarara city has explained that some of the causes that led to preterm birth include diabetes, infections, having multiple babies, and high blood pressure among others.
Dr.Besiga has, however, advised pregnant mothers to ensure they have their antenatal visits so that the health workers are able to monitor both the mother and the baby.