The impact of the pandemic on neonatal maternal health

Even if the total hospital’s admissions have decreased by 19%, the most significant and worrying drop concerns maternity ward access, which decreased by 56%, with a 44% decrease in deliveries. These numbers come to us directly from Kalongo and give us a worrying picture of the impact that the pandemic has on the daily life of the community.

The decrease in antenatal visits is a consequence of the strict rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19, of the increased poverty that doesn't allow women to pay for the trip to the Hospital, and of the fear of infection. Such situation has caused a reduction of preventive therapies provided, with inevitable consequences on the health of the fetus and future mothers.

Such a high reduction in deliveries means an increase in unassisted deliveries, with consequent risks of maternal mortality, neonatal mortality, development of serious complications during delivery which can lead to permanent disabilities for both the mother and the unborn child.

However, in the midst of this difficult and disheartening moment, there are also many stories that thanks to the tenacity and resilience of the doctors and hospital staff, combined with the courage and strength of these mothers, reach a happy ending and make us look to the future with glimmers of positivity.

Like the story of Esther, a 19 years old young woman at her first pregnancy who came to the Kalongo hospital from the Komotor Health Center in Agago because she was in labor and with Covid symptoms. Arriving at Dr Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital, she was immediately tested for Covid and turned out positive. She was admitted to the isolation ward. A "special delivery

room" was created for her in the same ward, where she was constantly assisted by a midwife and the medical team who started treatment for Covid. Unfortunately, Esther's labor failed to progress for 2 days, probably due to high fever of the mother. The fetus started developing fetal distress.

The medical staff did not lose heart and promptly decided for an emergency caesarean section to save the lives of both the mother and the baby.

Everything went well, Esther and her baby recovered very well and they were discharged a few days ago from the hospital.

This is Kalongo, this is the strength of Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital who fights every day for the joy of life.

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