We see a lot of premature babies, and many of them are multiples, like twins or even triplets. One set of twins, born prematurely at home in December were a boy and a girl weighing only 2 and a half pounds each. Mom took the babies immediately to Bwaila Hospital where the staff referred them to our nurses for further care and management. Mom was taught how to wrap her infants close to her body for warmth in lieu of incubators, which are scarce and unreliable in Malawi due to common power outages. Staying in a warm room with blankets wrapped around her, mom is able to provide the warmth that these two need to survive. With proper feeding and care, this little brother and sister are stable and growing.
A full term birth, Little Lewis was born in the District Hospital on New Year’s Day. However, mom was diagnosed shortly after with peritonitis, an abdominal infection and was found positive for malaria. Despite being transferred to the ICU for care, her condition deteriorated, and sadly, she passed away two weeks later. Lewis was referred to our Nurses for nutritional support and follow up. His family was taught how to feed him with AMHI supplied formula with a spoon and cup and he is in good general health now.
Just outside of town, on the outskirts of Linlongwe, a 19 year old first time mother was rushed to the hospital after her water broke prematurely, where she subsequently gave birth to a baby girl named “Zani”, weighing only 5lbs. Within two days mom and baby were discharged home, but her breast milk did not let down and little Zani was unable to feed at all. Desperate, the mother fed the baby with regular store bought cow’s milk, not meant for babies. Soon, Zani developed fever and spots and was finally admitted to the hospital weeks later with severe weight loss. She was down to just 3.7 lbs. Crying with hunger, the staff at the hospital referred the baby to AMHI’s partner Nurses for management and care. Nurses supplied the family with formula and taught proper feeding techniques. On examination, the mother’s breasts were not producing milk, but she was encouraged to put baby to breast frequently in order to possibly stimulate lactation. Zani’s condition is now stable, and she has been steadily gaining weight.