Working miracles in Malawi (Sep. 2011)
Moses and John can't wait to explore the world.
Our supporters have helped us to work miracles in Malawi.
Earlier this year, during the cold season in Malawi, Mary, who was only 16 years old, delivered premature twin boys at Kasina Health Centre. They weighed just 1.2 kg and 1.1 kg at birth. Moses and John were so tiny that their mother found carrying them difficult and frightening. Our first instinct was to refer her and the babies to a bigger hospital where there would be an incubator for the babies. We suggested this to the family but they told us that they would go home if we asked them to go elsewhere.
We have a little room that we use as a nursery. The young mother and newborns stayed there and our practical ‘kangaroo’ nursing was put to use. In kangaroo nursing, the infant is nursed lying skin to skin with the mother to keep the baby warm. This also helps bonding with the mother. Since there were two babies it was a bit difficult but Mary was eager to learn. We put a small heater in the room. Every aspect of their hygiene and feeding was closely monitored by our nursing staff and it was exciting to see their lively movements.
Mary‘s family was poor and she was not producing enough breast milk. ‘Likuni phala’, a mixture of soya beans and maize, is used in our nutrition clinics. With this help she was soon producing enough milk to feed the babies. She did not give them any artificial feeding or water. She learned to care for her twins and the babies’ weight increased steadily as the weeks went by. The tiny legs and arms began to fill out; their hair started to grow; their faces became rounded. It was a wonderful to see such a miracle of life growing before us.
Moses and John stayed in the health centre for 6 weeks until they weighed 2.5 kg. The day they were discharged was a very happy one, for Mary and her proud parents and the nurses. The mother and babies have been coming to the under-five clinic since their discharge and all are doing well.