“I couldn’t let my heart believe he would survive”

“I couldn’t let my heart believe he would survive”

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Zahara came to our antenatal clinic when she was 7 ½ month pregnant, complaining of abdominal pain. It was immediately clear to us that, unfortunately, she was in labour. We prepared her for delivery, explaining that it was too early for the baby to be born. Within 2 hours she delivered and a tiny baby boy, weighing just 1 kg. In settings like Mille without high tech equipment, premature babies have a very small chance of survival, however Walqi was very feisty and had been given the best possible chance at survival by being born in hospital. We put in a feeding tube, taught Zahara to express milk and how to do Kangaroo care to maintain the babies temperature. Zahara was dedicated to her tiny babies care, and as she had originally only come to the hospital for an antenatal visit she was completely on her own. Kuzsuppringlandcer . The pair stayed at the hospital until Walqi could breastfeed, and she returned 3 months later with strapping baby boy and a huge smile! This was remarkable for so many reasons, but particularly as often Afar are reluctant to ‘invest’ their hearts in premature babies as their chance of survival is so slim and undertaking care such as nasogastric feeding and kangaroo care is unnatural to them. But this shows what we can do with limited resources and love.zemzem3

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