HomeNewsGovt to install 250 infant incubators countrywide

Govt to install 250 infant incubators countrywide

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GOVERNMENT plans to install 250 infant incubators at various health institutions throughout the country to reduce the infant mortality rate especially in outlying areas.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa told legislators last Wednesday that after the successful launch of a medical equipment project by President Robert Mugabe which recently saw him commission $100 million worth of medical equipment sourced from China to Harare Central Hospital, his ministry had now embarked on a programme to dispatch incubators to outlying health facilities.
Parirenyatwa said most rural hospitals did not have incubators due to unavailability of electricity.

“Ideally, properly designed ambulances should be able to accommodate and power a transportation incubator,” Parirenyatwa said.

“As a ministry, we have motivated and fundraised for electrification of our centres and increasingly we are deploying incubators to such centres. Just recently the President launched a medical equipment project and among other pieces of equipment, we will see the deployment of 250 infant incubators to various health facilities,” he said.

“Incubators are care devices that are used to keep a baby warm and free from draughts during transfer from one unit to the next. They range in their sophistication from simple insulated Perspex boxes which are not that effective to hi-tech electricity powered and electronically controlled devices that attain the desired controlled environment. Electricity challenges in most rural health centres are not enabling this technology.”

Parirenyatwa said his ministry had also addressed this gap by way of an appropriate “technology” approach through what they called Kangaroo care.

“This is a management strategy in which the naked infant is placed on the parent’s chest with direct skin-to-skin contact and the two are wrapped around a blanket or towel cover. Here, the parent’s heat is used to keep the baby warm. It works in the right kind of parent-baby pair, but not for all situations, for example, where the baby requires more intensive care with oxygenation, ventilation, etcetera.”

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