Kyrgyzstan marks World Prematurity Day

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Complications of premature birth are the main cause of death for more than 1 million children under the age of 5 every year worldwide. In Kyrgyzstan, some 8000 babies are born prematurely.

Bishkek, 17 November 2016: Every year, some 8000 children are born prematurely in Kyrgyzstan (4.8 per cent of all births). The survival rate of children weighing 500 to 1500 grams is 49.2 per cent. According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), complications of premature birth are the main cause of death for more than 1 million children under the age of 5 every year worldwide. The World Prematurity Day was first marked on 17 November 2009, at the initiative of the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants. Globally, 6-8 per cent of children are born prematurely.

Today, the National Center for Maternal and Child Health in Bishkek held a photo exhibition, designed to give hope to parents of premature children, organized by the club ‘28 petel’ with the support of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health and UNICEF.

‘Since 2012, UNICEF has delivered 27 breathing machines for newborns to 16 hospitals in Osh, Batken, Issyk-Kul and Jalal-Abad provinces. When the child can breathe, it can live’, said UNICEF Kyrgyzstan Health Specialist Cholpon Imanalieva.

For the last 11 years, children born after the 22nd week of pregnancy weighing more than 500 grams have been registered, in accordance with criteria recommended by the World Health Organization.

The numbers reveal that the incidence of premature births is increasing every year. This is related to women’s  health issues. A particular role is played by socio-economic factors: unfavorable environmental conditions, poor living conditions, poor nutrition, smoking, and alcohol intake.

In accordance with a  joint Ministry of Health and UNICEF action plan, with the support of UNICEF, more than 1,000 doctors, midwives and nurses have been trained on newborn child resuscitation and care over the last four years. Moreover, respiratory Ambu bags and special monitors for tracking every minute of a child’s activity have been transferred to hospitals, as well as infusion pumps, devices that allow physicians to introduce exact medication dosages. With the support of the Government of Japan, 49 special mattresses have been transferred to hospital delivery rooms. The mattresses are electrically heated, providing the prematurely born child with the optimal body temperature for survival.

‘Nursing prematurely born children is a high-tech and very expensive process, where conditions are made to be as close as possible to prenatal conditions and aimed at maintaining the functions of the immature organism. The progress of medical science contributes to improved treatment results for both prematurely born and full-term newborns’, said Raisa Asylbasheva Beyshenalievna, Chief Specialist of the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Early detection of difficulties and delays in the development of children, and promptly started medico-social and pedagogical interventions give a child better chances to restore basic skills development. It is precisely at this age that it is necessary to make the most effective use of the child’s compensatory abilities.