The neonatal service takes care of babies aged 0 to 28 days, including premature (less than32 weeks gestation) and low birth weight (down to 1.25kg) infants, in a 30-bed unit. Smaller babies have a limited chance of survival, and the limitations of technical resources mean that the most severely sick neonatal babies too often die despite the medical team’s best efforts. In February-March 2016, the medical team faced a peak of 44 admissions per week and was obliged to install extra mattresses between the beds to accommodate the large numbers. An influx like this puts great pressure on the unit which at all times is trying to ensure a hygienic environment and eliminate the chance for cross-infection.
Ring Aleu is a nurse, John Deng a neonatology attendant and James Ayoom is a nurse assistant. They look at young Mou. The boy is four days old and he’s on a good path to recovery. His mother Nianut, aged 28, already has three children at home and travelled two hours by car to reach the hospital. This is the first time that she has come to the MSF hospital and she feels better now as she is confident her baby will survive.