Over the past month four very special babies were born at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Ebute Metta, Nigeria. Four families welcomed four children into the world. But what should have been the happiest day of their lives, quickly became every parent’s nightmare. Their babies were sick. Born premature or with developmental illnesses, these infants needed critical care.
In many hospitals in Nigeria, this would have been an insurmountable problem. Even a single premature baby would exhaust most hospitals’ neonatal resources, but four newborns in need of this kind of comprehensive care at the same time would be impossible to treat. Nigeria faces enormous challenges in maternal and neonatal health. It is the fourth most dangerous country in the world for women to give birth, according to the World Bank.
One in five children in Nigeria doesn’t live to the age of five, according to the WHO. At the core of these alarming statistics is a lack of healthcare capacity. Highly trained medical professionals in Nigeria simply lack the tools they need to save lives; highly trained medical professionals like those at FMC Ebute Metta.
This made FMC Ebute Metta the perfect pilot hospital for MedShare and Coca-Cola’s Safe Birth Initiative. Created with the purpose of improving the quality of care available to women and children in medically underserved communities, the Safe Birth Initiative equips healthcare providers with quality medical supplies and equipment so that they can be prepared for any challenge.
“This is what humanity is all about.”
– Dr. Adedamola DADA
So when four babies born at the hospital needed critical neonatal care, their families knew that the newborns would get the best care possible. Equipped with four state of the art incubators and essential neonatal supplies donated by the Safe Birth Initiative, FMC healthcare providers were able to diagnose, treat, and monitor their little patients with ease.
The last newborn recovering in her incubator, excited to go home next week!
Today all four babies have recovered well. Three of them have been discharged and Dr. Adedamola DADA, FMC’s Medical Director, tells us that the fourth is on track to go home in perfect health next week.
This story is a perfect illustration of the Safe Birth Initiative’s slogan, “Let’s bring mum and baby home alive!” As one FMC doctor noted, this would never have happened without the Safe Birth Initiative. Never before would all four babies have survived their difficult births, let alone returned home happy and healthy with their families.
Dr. DADA thanked us profusely for these donations saying, “We will continue to celebrate the huge impact this project is making in our service delivery capacity. Our capacity to respond to the care of the poor has increased tremendously. This is what humanity is all about.”