Tiny hats for tiny babies campaign gets Dutch boost
Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi) East Africa’s Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies campaign received a boost this week with a donation of 88 little hats from a Knitting Café in The Netherlands. While delivering the hats, Dr Rachel King said the knitting and crocheting of the hats was spearheaded by Ms Marian van Muiswinkel.
“Marian who should be around 85 years who got touched by the plight preemies in East Africa when I shared news about this campaign. I thought it was a nice idea to involve some people from outside of Uganda to highlight this issue. I am happy this has resulted into these hats from The Netherlands,” said Dr King as she delivered the hats. “Despite her age, Marian mobilised her friends and they were able to make these beautiful hats.”
By the end of November, the campaign had received over 10000 hats from 47 States in the United States of America and five African countries. The campaign is the brainchild of two California based PTBi East Africa staffers who noticed that so many newborns including preemies undergoing Kangaroo care did not have hats on their heads to keep them warm. The hats are to be distributed to all PTBi East Africa affiliated hospitals in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
Each year across the world, 1 million preterm babies die within their first 28 days. Unable to regulate their temperatures, they are vulnerable to hypothermia and ultimately death. Tiny hats are an easy solution; they give tiny babies a fighting chance.
In Uganda, 226,000 babies are born too soon each year and 12,500 children under five die due to direct preterm complications.
Working in selected sites in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, PTBi-East Africa aims to reduce morbidity and mortality from preterm birth by strengthening facility-based care from pregnancy through labour, delivery, and immediate postnatal period.