No incubators, hospital uses kangaroo method

Sakubva district hospital is operating without a single incubator and is having to resort to the ‘kangaroo’ method to save premature babies.

A mother with her premature baby at Sakubva district hospital.
A mother with her premature baby at Sakubva district hospital.

The method relies on the mother`s own body temperature to keep the baby warm. Babies born before the 37th week – more than three weeks before the due date – need a constant temperature level to keep them safe.

The situation at Sakuba, which is a referral centre that caters for high-density suburbs in the city and its surrounds, was revealed when health and child care minister David Parirenyatwa toured the maternity wards and came face-to-face with the harsh reality of an under-resourced health sector.

Hospital matron Sheila Chimbetete explained to the minister that the hospital was facing acute shortages of incubators.

“They all broke down and we have resorted to the kangaroo method,” she told him.

Chimbetete explained that the mother’s heartbeat could stimulate the baby and prevent some problems, but the centre was in dire need of proper facilities.

Parirenyatwa promised to look into the matter. “We will help accordingly, but I am impressed by the hardworking staff at this hospital and their commitment and dedication to serving patients under extremely difficult conditions,” he said.

Post published in: Health

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