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KENYA: Baby born weighing 400g finally discharged from KNH at 3.5kg

August 2019 theStar; A baby born weighing 400 grammes has been discharged from KNH after reaching 3.5kg.

Baby Jeremy was born at 25 weeks.

He’s been nurtured and managed by Kenyatta National Hospital doctors for five months until he attained 3.5kg.

Baby Hope Obonyo, who was also born at the same hospital with a birth weight of 400g was also present and is now a cheerful eight-year-old and leading a normal life.

An elated Catherine Joy, baby Jeremy’s mother, could not hide her joy.

The mother was thankful and overwhelmed that her baby has come this far because of the team effort by the doctors at Kenyatta. 

Catherine Joy narrated her story, saying she experienced bleeding at 22 weeks of her pregnancy.

She called her doctor who advised her to go to the Kenyatta National Hospital immediately.

For two weeks, she was put under bed rest, and her baby given an injection to aid the functioning of the lungs. The two gave her two more weeks before her labour pains came knocking.

Joy  is a mother of two other sons, Kayle, 10, and Carlos,7, who were born through CS, but she had a normal birth with Jeremy.

According to the doctors, a baby born at 22 weeks has the organs formed but their functionality and maturity are questionable especially the lungs.

He is the second prematurely born baby to weigh 400g at KNH since the inception of the referral facility, according to the hospitals CEO Evans Kamuri.

“I screamed when I saw the baby at birth because I could not tell what it was when Dr Karanja showed me. I was even scared to go to the nursery to see the baby,” baby Jeremy’s mother Joy said.

Baby Jeremy’s father, James Narikae, who works as a hotelier, said they decided to name the baby Tubula, a Maasai name which means ‘the one who is born to prosper’.

“When the baby was born we were expecting but not that early. When he came it was quite a mixed reaction because we didn’t know what to expect,” Narikae said

“We received a lot of encouragement from family and friends. That made us feel that we were not alone. It was not easy it was a bit straining economically and psychologically.”

The bill according to the father stands at Sh3 million but he is hopeful that the insurance cover from the employer will go a long way in helping them offset the bills.

As they leave the hospital, they have been advised to e cautious and even possible avoid visitors for the next two months as the baby is still delicate and prone to infections.

Kenya is ranked 15th globally in number of premature births out of 188 countries. Causes of preterm births include short intervals between pregnancies, malaria, malnutrition, low weight and age of the mother.

Most of these can be addressed when identified early, especially when mothers attend antenatal clinics.

Neonatologists report that premature babies face feeding challenges which if not addressed can contribute to infections or death.

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