HOMEMADE INCUBATOR HELPS PREMATURE BABIES IN SLUM

In her small clinic in Nairobi’s Mathare slum, Alice Sibour has defied a shortage of medical equipment and come up with an inventive way to care for newborn babies.

As a traditional birth attendant and herbalist, Sibour uses traditional medicines rather than modern drugs to look after mothers-to-be. Many local women, who have little money and limited access to healthcare, rely on her services.

 

“They depend on us,” says Sibour. “Sometimes some of them have no money at all, but they know that if they come to us, we’ll assist them.”

 

In a country where around 55 out of every 1,000 infants die every year, Sibour decided to come up with her own solution to care for infants — an incubator made from scratch.

 

Using pillows, blankets and hot water, the bed provides the necessary warmth to help a premature baby develop.

 

A pillow is used as the baby’s mattress, and two small containers of hot water are placed underneath. A blanket is put over the baby, and the entire bed is covered with a mosquito net.

 

“With time the baby will get warmer,” says Sibour. “But the water should not be so hot that it could burn the child; it should just generate enough heat for the baby.”

 

“I got this idea when I visited a friend of mine who had something similar and I decided to make one, but for protecting premature babies,” she says.

 

“I just figured that a premature baby mostly needs warmth. I have helped very many children who are now big children.”

 

Sibour says she’s helped nearly 30 women with premature babies, including Caroline Awuor, who returned to Sibour when she became pregnant for a second time.

 

Despite the dangers and the fact that at times she may be paid nothing at all, Sibour says it’s all worth it.

 

“When a woman gives birth, that to me brings me the greatest joy, because in that I see the love of God.”

 

For the full article: CNN News

 

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