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UNICEF MENA Regional Director Visits Mahdieh Hospital -Tehran

Tehran, Mahdieh Hospital, 5 Oct. 2015 - Fatemeh was just 700 g when she was born at 26 weeks. Being the smallest newborn of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Mahdieh Hospital, luckily she is now in pretty good condition and weighs 1,270 g.

Fatemeh is one of the 39 premature newborns who receives special care in the tranquil ambiance of NICU with decorated walls and soft lighting. In a pretty large room bathed in blue light, neonates are lying in advanced incubators where they feel in the womb. 

Inviting UNICEF MENA Regional Director Dr. Peter Salama and UNICEF Iran team into the ward, Dr. Abolfazl Afjehie, the chair of Iranian National Neonatologists Council stressed the role played by neonatologists and nurses in ensuring a calm and comfortable environment for both newborns and their parents.  

“Our nurses treat each premature neonates as if they are their owns, gently caressing their bodies and providing medical care, they have on-the-job skills to take care of the neonates and make emotional bond with their families. Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) that has been introduced with UNICEF support enables us to accept cases that previously would be considered hopeless and help them back to life,” Dr. Afjehie continued.

“What makes, NIDCAP approach different is that the neonatal care and medical procedures in NICU are provided according to the unique status of the neonates individually,” UNICEF Iran’s Health and Nutrition Specialist Mr. AmirhosseinYarparvar said.

Further, UNICEF MENA Regional Director Dr. Peter Salama stated, “As a physician, I’m really impressed by the high quality of delivered health services in this center. This is a good model that could be documented and replicated in other regional countries.”

“I am a medical doctor and value your great endeavour. The success story of Mahdieh hospital helps premature infants thrive and grow in a healthy environment. The center has become the refuge for those mothers whose babies are born with severe complications. It could also act as a training hub in the region,” UNICEF Iran Representative Dr. Gianni Murzi noted.

Not only neonates, but also pregnant women have access to special health services of Mahdieh hospital which is located in a high risk area in the south of Tehran.

“Last year through Ministry of Health and UNICEF joint project of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, the HIV status of 50 thousand pregnant women in 170 centres of ten provinces was tested during pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery,” said the head of National AIDS programme Dr. Abbas Sedaghat, adding that wide variety of awareness raising programmes targeting adolescents, couples as well as people who live with HIV/AIDS have been implemented.  

Later Dr. Mohammad Esmaeil Motlagh, Director General of Population, Family and School Health, Ministry of Health and Medical Education stated, “With 19 maternal mortality in every 100 thousand live births we are ahead of WHO estimate of 22 in every 100 thousand live births and we have planned to decrease the figure to 7 per thousand live births in 2030.”

“As a part of the global commitments towards implementation of All-In Initiative, through engagement with UNICEF Headquarters in New York, Iran’s Ministry of Health is now involved at global level with a large number of alliances to prevent transmission of HIV among adolescents,” Dr. Sedaghat concluded.




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