Inspired by survival of her preterm baby, mother donates $700 to save preemies

Inspired by survival of her preterm baby, mother donates $700 to save preemies

When Entrepreneur Lydia Basemera gave birth to her baby just over two years ago earlier than expected, she was not sure whether the newborn would survive. She almost went into a disastrous depression.

However for Ms Basemera, she was in privileged to afford good care in a good hospital that saw her premature survive and thrive over time.

The time she spent in hospital in Kampala got her thinking about the less privileged women struggling to ensure survival of their premature babies.

“I sat down and thought about someone who could not afford. Women in the villages. There are some who can’t afford hospital admissions for long. They had to put sigiris in their houses to generate heat to keep the babies warm. I was really bothered. I am a bit okay now but those days it really used to bother me. So I sat down and asked myself how best I could thank God,” said an emotional Ms Basemera as she handed her donation to Makerere University Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health Research team members led by Associate Professor Peter Waiswa.

“Some of my peers go back to celebrate their children’s birthdays with parents of those little babies at Nakasero Hospital where I delivered my preterm. But my mind has always been on that less unfortunate women who cannot afford high end hospitals. That is why I got in touch with you since you work with hospitals where these disadvantaged women are.”

preterm_donationMs Basemera (in striped dress) hands over her contribution

While receiving the donation Prof. Waiswa commended Ms Basemera saying humble donations inspired by experiences make remarkable differences in the lives of the disadvantaged and hoped the gesture would enthuse others.

He said the donation would be given to Jinja Regional Referral Hospital (JRRH) to buy Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) wraps. The hospital has for over two years been running a weekly preterm follow up clinic, which was set up through collaborations with Makerere University.

The five General hospitals in JRRH’s catchment area deliver 25,000 babies every year (including those born at JRRH) and about 10 percent of these are preterm and or low birth weight babies.

“We recently spoke to mothers of preterms and they were having challenges with practicing KMC and they were saying if they had KMC wraps life would be a little easier for them,” said Prof. Waiswa.

Uganda’s preterm birth rate stands at 14 percent of the annual births while direct preterm child mortality stand at an estimated 12,500 deaths.

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