Alemsoltan’s life: A success story
Today, all premature babies that come through the centre have a real chance at survival.
Alemsoltan was born on 28 November 2016 after only 25 weeks of gestation. She weighed just 500 grams. After three months in one of the 12 state-of-the-art incubators at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the MCH Hospital in Ashgabat, she now weights 1.48 kilograms.
Alemsoltan’s mother had miscarriages twice prior to her birth. She suffered from multiple health conditions, which led to early labour. The health staff who attended Alemsoltan’s birth explain that just a few years ago, Alemsoltan would not have survived. Now, thanks to the latest technology and cutting-edge training, the hospital staff are not only able to save Alemsoltan and the other babies who weigh less than
We fight every day to help babies survive, even the ones weighing 500 grams.
“We fight every day to help babies survive, even the ones weighing 500 grams,” said Dr. Naira Hakberdyyeva, the neonatologist and reanimation doctor trained at the Turkmen State Medical Institute who oversaw Alemsoltan’s care. “Before, babies weighing less than 1.1 kilograms were not considered ‘liveable’ babies. We thought they were too small to have a chance at survival. We didn’t have the equipment, skills or knowledge we needed.”
In 2016, with UNICEF support, Turkmenistan began working with neonatologists and resuscitation specialists from Israel, who have helped to strengthen staff capacities through comprehensive training and support. UNICEF has also equipped the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with the latest incubators, ventilators and state-of-the-art technology. Today, all premature babies that come through the centre have a real chance at survival.
“We knew the theory before, but we never got a chance to practice it,” said Dr. Hakberdyyeva. “The new equipment helps more children survive and avoid complications with proper administration. Having international experts helped us utilize the new equipment to its best. I am so proud of what we are doing here.”
At the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, little Alemsoltan is getting healthier every day. She can see lights and hear the sounds that waft into the Unit and she uses her own strength to drink her mother’s breastmilk. Once she reaches 1.5 kilograms, she will be released to home. Her mother and father have been trained on how best to care for her and are awaiting her arrival eagerly. They say everything is ready for her at home and she will know nothing but love.