Premature babies will have better chances for survival.
A set of equipment is offered by the Council of Europe Development Bank andUNICEF in Switzerland to reduce risks of losing babieswith low and very low birth weight.
UNICEF, Chisinau, 27 November 2009 – A lot of equipment for newborns has recently arrived to Chisinau and was already installed at Perinatology Centres. This equipment includes incubators, resuscitation tables, phototherapeutic lamps, and ultrasound machines that are installed in 11 maternity wards throughout the country. The main objective of this aid is to improve survival chances for low and very low weight newborns. In January 2008, the Republic of Moldova has adopted the international definition of live birth. While before 2008 “live birth” were considered newborns with a birth weight of 1 000 grams or more and 28 weeks of pregnancy, starting last year all children that weight over 500 grams and completed over 22 weeks of gestation were officially registered, in accordance with the standards set by the World Health Organization.
The equipment assistance, with a total value of over 700 000 US dollars, is offered by the Council of EUROPE Ddevelopment Bank and the UNICEF National Committee of Switzerland via UNICEF Moldova.
Typically, all children born prematurely need special care, at even temperatures and humidity levels maintained in incubators until their weight reaches 2 000 grams. Some of the babies might need to remain for over one month in such conditions. So far, there were not enough incubators and other equipment to ensure survival and care for these children.
The Minister of Health, Vladimir Hotineanu, affirmed “this equipment will allow doctors to provide medical care necessary for the survival of all children with a birth weight of over 500 grams. This means that our medical care will become more efficient, will save hundreds of prematurely born babies who until now had little chances of survival”.
“By this joint initiative, we really hope to give to all prematurely born babies a chance for survival – a basic child right. It is also a key step in improving newborn care and will help reduce infant and child mortality, allowing Moldova to honor its obligations with respect to child survival” said Alexandra Yuster, UNICEF Representative in Moldova.
According to the national statistics, 38 500 children were born in 2008 in the Republic of Moldova, 5% of which were born prematurely. Of these, almost 1 300 were low weight (weighting under 2500 grams), including 200 with very low weight (under 1500 grams), and another 86 with extremely low weight (under 1 000 grams). Last year, 74% of the extremely low weight newborns died.