Reddington Hospital, one of the leading multi-specialist hospitals in Nigeria recently established a level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), one of the very few in the country and this unit was set up following an investment, funded by the Bank of Industry and Access Bank of Nigeria, and the aim is to offer and provide quality healthcare to neonates including preterm babies.
A neonate is a baby aged between 1 and 28 days. An Intensive Care Unit is a unit where critically ill patients are treated at a more intensive level than is needed by other patients. Hence, a NICU is a facility for the care of critically ill babies including prematures.
It is a known fact that Nigeria’s health indicators are poor and while the government can do so much, there is need for the private sector to contribute and support what the government is able to provide. This was one of the reasons Reddington Multi-specialist Hospital took that step, not only to blaze the trail and change the narrative in the care of the newborn space, but also to set a better standard of care for this vulnerable age group.
The NICU at Reddington is a 6 bed facility with state of the art equipment like the Giraffe incubators and Infant Resuscitaires, highly sophisticated ventilators, capable of ventilating preterm babies weighing as low as 500gm (about the weight of an apple) infusion pumps to deliver pre-set fluid rates, syringe drivers, arterial blood gas measurement, phototherapy for babies with jaundice. We also have a Transport Incubator Ambulance System, which can be used to transport a new born preterm baby from anywhere in Lagos to our facility in Victoria Island.
The unit is managed by Two well-trained and highly experienced Consultant Neonatologists/Paediatricians. They are Dr Olajide Ojo, the Head of the Department of Paediatrics, with 15-year experience in the care of premature babies and older children. The other Consultant is Dr Raj Kishore, who has his Fellowship in Neonatology with relevant experience caring for over 700 babies both in Africa and India. These two doctors are supported by a team of trained nurses specialized in Neonatal Intensive care amongst other support staff providing a 24-hour coverage for the unit. These are to further improve the outcome of the care of these babies.
Recently, using our Transport Incubator Ambulance, we evacuated a premature baby girl delivered at 25 weeks’ gestation (just about 6-month old pregnancy) with birth weight of 800gm, from another hospital in Lagos within a few hours of delivery. For ease of comparison, an average normal new-born baby weighs about 3kg, meaning this baby was about a quarter of the weight of a new-born. While there are always huge challenges in the in management of these prematures anywhere in the world especially those at 25 weeks of gestation, however our team rose to the task successfully dealing with various complications and challenges that came up throughout her 65 days stay in hospital.
We are happy to inform you that the baby having progressively improved, gaining tremendous weight while on admission has now been discharged home to the delight of her parents.
Reddington Hospital recently committed the required resources in terms of manpower and technology for the purpose of caring of the new-borne especially preterm babies for better outcome. While there is need to stem and reverse the trend of medical tourism abroad, it is extremely important that potential parents and medical practitioners are aware of such facilities available locally, especially when time is of great essence.
We are exploring collaborating with other hospitals, both public and private, to train and develop human capacity in ensuring that skilled medical personnel are in attendance at labour and deliveries. This will definitely go a long way in improving patient outcomes.