East Tallinn Central Hospital surprises mothers of premature babies
The purpose of the World Prematurity Day on 17 November is to bring attention to families with premature babies and their concerns, support networks and their ability to cope in everyday life. The neonatology department of the Women’s Clinic of East Tallinn Central Hospital organised a special day for the mothers of premature babies and invited politicians to a round table discussion to raise awareness of problems and find solutions.
Approximately 13,000 babies are born in Estonia each year. Every third baby is born in the maternity ward of the East Tallinn Central Hospital Women’s Clinic. Around 350 premature babies are born in East Tallinn Central Hospital every year, who then must spend their first days, weeks and even months in the hospital. East Tallinn Central Hospital has a department for premature babies from Northern Estonia, Ida-Viru County, Pärnu County, Järva County, Western Estonia and the islands.
The survival rate of babies born prematurely here is comparable to that in the Nordic countries. “Our goal is not only survival but also quality of life. If twenty years ago 70% of premature babies still left the hospital with varying diseases, developmental disorders or disabilities, this percentage has now dropped to 30. These results come from great teamwork and long-term experience,” says Dr Pille Andresson, who has worked as the Head of the East Tallinn Central Hospital neonatology department for 25 years. “Premature babies must get the best treatment so that they can live high-quality lives. Their futures depend on our work. That is why neonatology is such an important medical field.”
The seventeenth of November was a special day dedicated to mothers with premature babies staying at the hospital. The morning was full of snacks, music, little gifts, make-up, hair-dos and picture-taking. At noon, guitar virtuoso Paul Neitsov performed in the Women’s Clinic. He gave an hour-long concert to both patients and passers-by.
At 15:00, a round table discussion took place at the Family School, where politicians and specialists talked about demographic trends and the quality of treatment and opportunities for premature children in order to highlight problems and find solutions. “One area in which we are lacking is material aid and support persons; the other is moral support or psychological help. This is a huge burden for society to bear. We are trying to highlight these problems,” says Dr Andresson.
In honour of World Prematurity Day, the maternity ward of East Tallinn Central Hospital once again turned lilac for the day, as it is the characteristic colour of premature babies, marking the beginning of a new life and symbolising optimism.