Premature births on the rise in health centers

Premature births on the rise in health centers

UPDATE DAY

The war in Ukraine has caused an increase in premature births in health centers, said the global health agency Unitaid, which sent oxygen therapy machines to the scene to help the babies.< /strong> 

The Russian invasion in Ukraine “raises the stress level of pregnant women, which leads to an increase in the number of reported premature births”, Unitaid spokesman Hervé Verhoosel told a press conference. in Geneva.

“Babies born prematurely are more likely to develop respiratory, neurological or digestive complications – conditions that often require treatment with oxygen,” he explained.

Unitaid sent 220 devices to administer oxygen and 125 oxygen blender systems (to regulate its concentration). They are now available in 25 centers across the country, 17 of which are perinatal centers.

“In some hospitals with whom our partners have spoken during training in the use of the equipment, there were increases of 12 to as much as 40%,” explained Mr. Verhoosel.

“But we have to put things into perspective a bit. For the moment, given the situation, many more traditional and uncomplicated births do not take place in hospitals, which welcome more difficult cases. This contributes to the increase in percentages. But the increase is real,” he told AFP.

Premature births on the rise in health centers

Premature births on the rise in health centers

The conflict in Ukraine has damaged or destroyed many hospitals.

“This puts thousands of newborns at high risk of disability or death due to a lack of access to oxygen, necessary equipment and essential treatments,” said affirmed the spokesperson for Unitaid.

To date, the World Health Organization (WHO) has verified 434 attacks on health services since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, of which 366 have affected health facilities.