To save a nation, we always need to save our children. Great nations have been built by ensuring that their foundation (babies) are well cared for and protected.
Often, when children are spoken of, many people narrow their minds down to the young walking ages of between two-five years. However, it encompasses a wider group than this.
According to the World Health Organization, every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm (before 37 completed weeks of gestation), and this number is rising. Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death among children under five years of age, responsible for approximately one million deaths in 2015 alone.
Three-quarters of these deaths could be prevented with current, cost-effective interventions. Across 184 countries, the rate of preterm birth ranges from 5% to 18% of babies born. These facts are alarming and beg the need for someone out there to do something to save our future leaders and change-makers.
November each year is considered ‘World Prematurity Month’. This year, it was celebrated on 17th November under the theme ‘Zero Separation’, with the tagline ‘Act now! Keep parents and babies born too soon together’.
Babies, who are born prematurely, are admited to the Neonatal Intensive Care Units, popularly referred to as NICU. Here, they receive delicate care and attention to help them develop fully in a healthy and controlled environment. Although there have been several awareness campaigns in Ghana about preterm births, there seem to be more preterm babies than there are NICU’s. This particular challenge gets even worse when we consider the inadequate equipment at some of the already existing NICU centres.
Throughout November, an organization, known as NICU, Soldiers has partnered with the logistics arm of Africa’s leading e-commerce ecosystem Jumia and Fiona’s foods to raise funds for preterm babies on oxygen in a project dubbed #sconesforlife. The fundraiser is in the form of delivering scones and pies to generous people who buy them at higher amounts than their original costs just to support the project. Every Friday and Saturday, Jumia Logistics Ghana’s delivery agents send the scones/pie orders to these consumers at no cost of delivery.
On Friday 19th November 2021, NICU Soldiers together with Jumia Logistics Ghana and Fiona Foods also provided food to the nurses at the NICU unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the media team at Peace FM for their support in helping save the lives of these preterm babies.
Over the past three weeks, quite a good number of scones have been delivered to consumers in Accra and Tema with the hope of selling more scones in the coming week. Organizers of this great initiative say that there will be many more projects like this to raise more funds for our future leaders.