The neonatal unit, supported by MSF, admits around 80 newborn babies every month. In 2018, our teams provided 27,000 emergency consultations at Al Salam hospital in Yemen and admitted around 1,000 babies to the neonatal unit.
Super: The neonatal unit, supported by MSF, admits around 80 newborn babies every month. After several hours on the road, a mother enters the emergency room with her baby. The baby is immediately admitted to the neonatal unit.
Jane Hancock, MSF nurse: This baby is a 12-day-old baby admitted today from the emergency department. The mum’s brought him in because he was not feeding properly, crying a lot. A lot of the problems here with malnourishment and the babies that are admitted here is because breastfeeding is something that people do but people don’t talk about and people don’t do well. So we’re always trying to educate the mothers on how to increase their breastmilk supply. A lot of people, the reason they’re not breastfeeding well is because they don’t have enough money, they don’t have enough food or water because their lives are falling apart because of the war.
Breastfeeding is about emotions as well. If you are living in a stressful environment you are not going to produce breastmilk. And this is a very stressful environment.
He looks like he’s feeding very well. He’s got good suck. And hopefully if she puts him to the breast every three or four hours and increases what she drinks her breastmilk supplies will catch up with his need.
Super: The mortality rate in the neonatal unit is around 20 percent. Main pathologies are sepsis, asphyxia and malnutrition.
Jane Hancock, MSF nurse: Unfortunately here in our neonatal unit we have quite a high mortality rate. There’s a lot of contributing factors to this. One of the main factors is that there is actually no other facility in the area for people to go. We take very extreme low birthweight babies and extremely premature babies. The other major problem that we have here is that the babies that come from outside they don’t just come from down the street they come from hours away and they’ve already only brought them in because they were very sick. So by the time they reach our emergency department and then subsequently our unit these babies are in very poor condition.
Super: In 2018, our teams provided 27,000 emergency consultations at Al Salam hospital and admitted around 1,000 babies to the neonatal unit.