Mowbray Maternity Hospital commemorated World Prematurity Day by walking 5km to raise awareness of pre-term birth.
About 60 staff members dressed up in purple walked from the hospital to Rondebosch Common and back on Friday November 17.
World Prematurity Day raises awareness of pre-term birth, and this year’s theme was “small actions, big impact: immediate skin-to-skin care for every baby, everywhere.
Sister Zeenat Dalwai, operational manager of the neonatal unit, said the unit had 73 beds and they would be taking care of 73 babies at any time. She said they offered life-saving services to premature babies as babies who were born too soon usually had issues with breathing and were at risk of having an infection.
“Our aim is to support these babies to a point where they can sustain life on their own and also to support moms and family members as it truly takes a village. We get moms, dads, grannies, aunties or anyone who will be involved in the caring of the baby, to help get the baby to a point where they can go home.”
The hospital’s kangaroo mother care unit promotes continuous skin-to-skin contact between mothers and newborns.
“It is a journey for our moms and this is a space where they can learn how to carry on the journey once they are discharged from the hospital,” said Sister Dalwai.
For World Prematurity Day, she said, the staff wanted to commemorate the resilience and fighting spirit of mothers with the walk while raising awareness.
The staff also surprised some of the mothers with goodie bags and manicures and facials by the Zoe Project, a non-profit organisation that offers support to pregnant women and new moms.
“The neonatal unit is a big part of our hospital, and every department is interconnected so it was just fitting that we did out part,” she said.