NGOs trying to support, save premature babies

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A YEAR-long campaign has started to provide “premature” babies warm beanies to address low body temperature.
The Knit One, Warm One, Save One campaign, led by the Health Department is supported by United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the Australian government.
It is part of the Saving Lives Spreading Smiles programme that promotes a package of maternal and newborn care to ensure mothers and newborn babies survive and thrive.
United Nations Resident Coordinator Gianluca Rampolla said up to 6,000 newborns particularly preterm and low birth weight babies succumb to death in the first month of life from preventable illnesses each year.
“In PNG alone, 25,000 babies are born preterm and 2,000 die as a result of preterm complications,” Rampolla said.
“Hypothermia or low body temperature in babies is the underlying cause of these deaths.
“Hypothermia prevention and management can save up to 42 per cent of these deaths, as well as ensuring healthy growth and development of the baby.”
He said the campaign has a funding gap of K15 million.
They received K11 million funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and rolled out the programme.
Campaign patron Rachael Marape mobilised more than 300 people including women groups to start the campaign yesterday at Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Haus with a mass knitting session.

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