Head of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Wenchi Methodist Hospital, Dr. Vera Achiaa Dzackah says for preterm babies to survive, they need to be given the appropriate care.

Dr. Dzackah explained that a lot of complications arise especially during the preterm baby’s stay in the incubator which in most cases is not available or improvised.

According to her, these situations cause financial burdens to caregivers who are less prepared for it.

Preterm babies, because of their special nature must be protected, kept warm, and above all, they should be exclusively breastfed, experts say.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes preterms as babies born before their due date or not fully mature at birth. Whilee babies would usually be delivered after 40 weeks, such babies would be born before the 37th week.

One in ten or fifteen million is born preterm worldwide each year with sixty percent of them coming from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The medical practitioner advised that preterm babies should be sent for routine post-natal care. When all these things are done, they can also thrive even better than term babies.

The Head of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit added that in Ghana, many premature babies were born yearly and the Bono regions a major contributor.

For the majority of people, the world of preterm babies is a very slippery one due to the intensive care that they needed.

Premature babies after passing the test of two or more weeks in the incubator now struggle with feeding and other related issues associated with their birth.

As many families might seriously be concentrating on the survival of their preterm babies, many others ignore their nutrition needs.

In some cases, parents find solace in artificial feed to enhance the quick growth of their premature babies but Dr. Dzackah rejects the use of artificial feed.

“Breast milk contains antibodies which protect the baby against infections, it comes at the right temperature and needed no warming, and it is cheap and also enhances bonding between baby and mother,” she stressed.

Dr. Achiaa Dzackah further explained her department on World Prematurity Day, which seeks to correct the misconception that only canned feed guaranteed the survival of premature babies.

“All the canned foods can mimic a bit of glucose, a bit of fat but the immunoglobulin that the mother can transfer to the infant is only through the breast milk the mother gives.

And so when it comes to caring for the preterm baby, it is breast milk and that is the most complete nutrition you can give” she stated.