"The Incubator Of Her Baby" - Husna’s KMC Story

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Dodoma Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) unit is located at the regional hospital in Dodoma region, the political capital city of Tanzania, and is among KMC units established in March 2010 following training of 22 health workers. Among these, 1 medical doctor and 1 registered nurse were trained as KMC national trainers. The training focused on What, When, Who and How to provide quality KMC services.

Dodoma regional hospital acts as a referral centre for 7 districts in Dodoma. The hospital has a capacity of 420 beds and a total number of 209 skilled nurses and 213 other cadres including medical doctors. On 15 October, 2012 the KMC unit received Husna Rajabu, a 19 year old young mother with just primary education, working as a food vender in Dodoma town and married to a 26 year old businessman. Husna attended the outpatient department of Dodoma hospital complaining of lower abdominal pain, vomiting and draining of liquid from birth canal for three days. After thorough medical check-up she was discovered to have Premature Rupture of Membranes and was admitted to the labour ward. In the evening Husna started to have labour pains which persisted and she gave birth to a male pre-term baby with low birth weight. The age of the pregnancy at birth was 28 weeks and the weight of the baby was 750 g. Husna attended the first Ante natal clinic at Makole Maternal and Child Health Clinic (MCH clinic) in Dodoma Municipal Council when she was 4 months pregnant.

After giving birth, Husna became very nervous and depressed, was crying and said: “Mungu wangu, nimezaa mtoto kabichi, atakua kweli?”Ohhhh Mungu wangu” , in English  “Oooh my God, I have given birth to a premature baby, will he grow? oohh my God”!! Later on Sr. Chami who is the KMC focal person, started to counsel Husna and immediately she started to smile and said; “Siamini sister kama unayosema ni kweli” , which means, “ I don’t believe sister if what you are saying is true”! Before the counselling process, Husna told sister Chami to put her baby in the incubator at the neonatal unit; the nurse explained to Husna that she will be the incubator for her baby.

Husna spent 15 days in the KMC unit taking care of her baby using the KMC position combined with exclusive breast feeding. Husna was very cooperative in following instructions given by nurses and acted as a change agent in the unit because she was helping others to adhere to KMC guidelines. Below is Husna with her baby during one of the follow up visits at Dodoma Regional hospital smiling because the baby has already graduated from KMC - now 4 months old with a weight of 3.6 kg.

Mother practicing KMC