“My name is Patricia, I am 19 years old. I was in Senior 1 at school when I dropped out of school due to lack of school fees. I am the eldest and only daughter of my father who has two other children. My parents are both peasant farmers.

A year later I got married and got this pregnancy. I attended Antenatal clinic twice and had one scan. I fell sick at 6 months of pregnancy and I got treatment but then 4 days later I started experiencing labour pains. I delivered my baby at a health centre.

Luckily enough I was immediately referred to the neonatal unit at the main hospital. My baby weighed 940g on day 1. She lost weight until 740g and then started gaining. Today she is 1.110kg and I am taking her home.

At first I had refused to see my baby but my mother convinced me to see her, which I did 2 days after delivery. Honestly at first sight I knew she would not live, but slowly as days went by I started having hope.

I learnt so much at the neonatal unit in the 5 weeks I was there, I knew when she had a high temperature, or when her oxygen saturation was low. I am so glad that I got the chance to use those breathing machines (CPAP) and the new machines (pulse oximeters) to monitor my baby. I can say she was lucky as other babies were lacking. The challenge I faced most was having no sleeping or resting place.

I now know how to take care of my preterm and I thank you for treating my baby because I had no hope.”

Patricia we thank you too for taking care of your beautiful baby and look forward to seeing her thrive and grow in clinic in the coming weeks.

Over the next year we have plans to expand the neonatal Ward in order to be able to provide these tiny babies and their mothers with the space they need. Currently our mothers sleep down on the floor outside the ward come rain or shine . Watch out for our fundraising campaigns as we strive to make this dream a reality and give these babies and mothers the dignified care they truly deserve.

January 2018