Pregnant mothers and babies worldwide born during COVID-19 pandemic are threatened by strained health systems and disruptions in services. We have joined hands with the Tu Du and Hung Vuong Hospitals to provide specialist equipment for sick babies born to COVID infected mothers as they are at high risk of death.
The COVID pandemic has re cast motherhood, millions of mothers prepared for motherhood in the world as it was. Now they must prepare for birth in the world as it is today. Many of you will have seen the distressing scenes from this video, it shares Hung Vuong Hospital’s daily battle to save the lives of pregnant mothers and their babies in Ho Chi Minh City.
It is estimated that
will be born in Vietnam under the shadow of the pandemic.
Every day doctors make heart-breaking decisions, in order to save the mother it is not possible to save the baby, or Mum is delivered safely but the baby is born too small and sick and sadly many babies now have no living relative. Every mother and baby who survives gives our dedicated doctors and nurses in white the strength to carry on.
The Ministry of Health fully supports the World Health Organisations’ recommendations for mothers to continue breastfeeding their baby even if they are infected or suspect being infected as the virus has not been found in samples of breastmilk. Online webinars have been held to provide training and support to front line staff. But, with human resources stretched to their limits and so many mothers quickly becoming very sick, many babies cannot receive breastmilk.
Breastfeeding provides the optimal nutrition; it is the single most cost-effective preventative intervention to reduce newborn infants deaths. Breastfeeding protects against infectious diseases, due to the direct transfer of antibodies from Mum. It is a transfer of life-long protection. In the current situation many mothers are become sick very quickly and cannot breastfeed or express milk for their babies, human donor milk is the best option.
There are now hundreds of babies who need specialist care in neonatal units, many are sharing equipment which increases the risk of infection and death. We are appealing for funds to buy:
– More incubators to provide a safe, warm and controlled environment for babies,
– High frequncy ventilators (HFOV), the lungs of babies with COVID and those born pretem, can fill with fluid making it very difficult to get oxygen into the baby and remove the carbon dioxide in its blood. HFOV will often succeed in these situations where conventional ventilation does not and it will do so while causing less damage to the babies' lungs.
– Funds for pasteurised donor breastmilk to nourish these fragile babies.
Our mothers have suffered so much, let’s make sure more babies survive and thrive.
Our goal is to support Tu Du and Hung Vuong Hospitals, they have told us they lack equipment, the priority for babies is incubators and High Frequency Oscillation Ventilators (HFOV) and donor breastmilk.
For 433,000 VND ($19) you can feed one baby for one day.
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