DR Congo: MAGNA helps the newborns with low birth weight to survive

17. 06. 2016

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Premature babies with low birth weight have in DR Congo little chance to survive. MAGNA assists in safe baby delivery and motivates mothers to breast feeding. It is a life saving practice in Sub-Saharan Africa with not many options.  

„Welcome Sandra!“ smiling MAGNA nurse welcomes Sandra and her mother in Kinkenda maternity ward of the capital Kinshasa. Sandra was a premature baby and had only 1.9 kg. In Democratic republic of Congo baby with lower weight than 2.5 kg is life threatening. Although mother received excellent health care thanks to MAGNA medical team and accouchment was with no problems, the newborn with low birth weight has little chance to survive. Little Sandra managed and today she is 45 days old and has four kilograms. She managed thanks to breast feeding and health care that was provided in MAGNA center.

MAGNA operates in three maternal centers in capital city of Kinshasa. We care for women to have safe and hygienic space for delivery and we motivate them to breast feeding. MAGNA staff provides post natal care and regularly checked babies with low birth weight have high chance to survive. Newborns with low birth weight are in acute need of immunity support and need help for healthy growth. Breast feeding with first mothers milk, so called colostrum, in the first hour after birth is very nutritional and important. Because of cultural barriers it is considered to be dirty and smelly in the country. Breast feeding is for mother and her baby the safest method of nourishment. Therefore MAGNA medical team continuously works with mothers so they overcome this barrier and babies had chance to live.

Sandra was exclusively breast fed. Twelve times per day. Exclusive breast feeding and regular post-natal care by MAGNA medical team is extremely important for lowering neonatal mortality. MAGNA tries to impose these practices to participating health centers in DR Congo.

According to World health organization more than one million African newborns die in the first four weeks of life.

MAGNA operates in Democratic republic of Congo since 2009. It works in maternal centers, wards, treats acute malnutrition, helps to victims of sexual violence and addresses to infectious diseases.


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