MOH News
MOH Observes World Prematurity Day
17 November 2016
The Ministry of Health (MOH) highlighted its great interest in the welfare of premature babies and keenness to provide them with the best possible medical services through the paradigm shift in the development of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). In this respect, the MOH participates in the activation of the World Prematurity Day which is observed this year on Thursday November 17th, 2061 (corresponding to Safar 17th, 1438H). The world prematurity day, which was first celebrated in 2011, aims at raising awareness about the health problems facing the premature baby and their prevention throughout the world.  
 
"According to international statistics,  pre-term births amounted to about 15 million child or 10% of the total births annually," underlined the Ministry, adding that 60,000 premature babies are born in the Kingdom, and more than 15,000 of them are in need of special care at the NICU immediately after their birth, in addition to special medical care during their early years.
 
The MOH pointed out that most of the preemies health problems are the result of prematurely birth and prior to full development of their different body organs, a matter which requires medical assistance with devices and drugs to overcome this period, adding that pre-term birth may cause many complications that impact present and future life of the baby.
 
Within the same vein, specialists think that families have a big role to play in helping the premature child to overcome his health problems and complications resulting from pre-term births. In this regard recent medical researches proved that regular visits of mother to her premature baby at the NICU, embracing and breastfeeding him from the first day of delivery, positively affects his physical and mental growth in the future. After discharge from the hospital, parents have to take their baby to various clinics such as nutrition and development clinic as well as visiting eye doctor to follow up development of retina and sight measurement. Also pediatrician must be visited regularly to assess muscular and mental development of the baby and to take the basic vaccinations including vaccination of respiratory syncytial virus which causes severe lung infections in premature babies particularly in winter, as well as taking him to hearing and speech clinics to ensure that he is free from hearing impairment. 
 
Above all, specialists highlighted the importance of prevention of premature birth and its complications through following up pregnancy from the first day and making appropriate tests during pregnancy and giving premature birth in well-equipped hospitals which provide required services without delay.
 
 
 



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