Ayesha is a baby girl who weighed only 1.1 kg(2.5 pounds) at birth. Her father and motherlost their first two babies due to lack of propermedical care. They saved every penny theyhad so that their third child could be born in acity hospital, a 4-hour walk from their village.Ayesha had a very low chance of survival andwas kept in an incubator under observation for10 days. However, as her parents‟ savings ranout, it was not possible to extend her stay inthe NICU.It was at that point that Ayesha was placed inthe Embrace infant warmer for thermalsupport. After about a month, she gainedsufficient weight and was able to go home withher parents.
This mother, Shabanam, had an extremely lowbirth weight baby, who was kept in the NICUfor eleven days. It was then moved to the„step-down ward‟ with the Embrace warmer, at1 kg (2.2 pounds).Often such babies are sent home, even thoughthey are still in severe need of thermalsupport, because their parents can no longerafford to keep them in the NICU. Fortunately, inthis case, the Embrace warmer provided anaffordable option to these parents.
This is a development organisation that primarilyfocuses on rural and tribal healthcare andeducation. The hospital provides low costsmedical services for the tribes and the poor.Puttamma, a nurse here, narrates two instanceswhere the Embrace infant warmer helped savetwo low birth weight babies.“The first time I used the Embrace device was forChinamma‟s baby. The baby was brought to ourhospital from a remote village 60 kilometres away.It weighed 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds) and was ratherfragile. We kept the baby in the device for aboutseven days and it recovered well, which is whenwe sent it home. Chinamma‟s family reports thatthe baby is doing well and now weighs 3 kg.”“The second time I used Embrace was forSharadha‟s baby, which also weighed about 1.5kg. This family lived closer to our hospital so wewere able to keep it in the hospital for longer -about 15 days. The parents were thrilled by theproduct and asked if they could take it home.”
Lakshamma, the young mother in thisphotograph, belongs to a tribe called Lambani.Her family‟s weekly income is about Rs 200($4), when there is availability of manual laborjobs. Her village is situated in a remote areaapproximately 24 km (15 miles) away from thenearest healthcare facility.Lakshamma‟s premature baby weighed 1.6 kg(3.5 pounds) and needed thermal support. Shewould have found it very difficult to pay the Rs250 ($5) per day required to keep her baby inthe NICU. Instead, the doctor placed her babyin the Embrace infant warmer, which costspatients Rs 75 ($1.5) per day, and helped saveher life.
Chetna, a pregnant mother, met with a roadaccident and thus was unable to take care ofher seven and half months old, 1.2 kg (2.6pounds) baby girl. The family was not in aposition to afford three additional weeks ofNICU charges since they had already spent alot of money on Chetnas surgery andtreatment.The doctor decided to place the baby in theThermpod for nearly half the NICU charges, fortwo and half weeks. Her weight increased to1.8 kg (4 pounds) and she was then sent homewith her family.
Shivamadamma is a young, 20 year old motherfrom a village called Siriminahalli, an hour awayfrom this hospital. All members of her family arefarmers. This 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs) baby boy is her firstborn. Due to his low birth weight, he was admittedto the Neonatal ICU for six days.The entire family had been very worried when thebaby was born underweight. However, theEmbrace infant warmer provided them anopportunity to give the baby extended care in thehospital. After being released from the NICU, thebaby was placed in the Embrace warmer for twodays. During this time, the family grew more andmore optimistic about his health, as his weightincreased to 1.75 kg (3.8 lbs). The time spent inthe Embrace device also allowed Shivamadammato bond with her child and gain confidence abouttaking him home.We left a very happy Shivamadamma in thehospital, cradling her little boy in the Embracewarmer, excited to take him home.
Encouraged by Shivamadamma‟s story, the first Make this theEmbrace team decided to image of the site IF you visit her family in theirvillage. We visited them a month clicked through are and a half after from the home page,her son‟s birth. As per local custom, she was otherwise, start at thestaying in her parent‟s home with beginning. the baby, whereshe would continue to stay till he was nine monthsold.We were happy to see that her son had continuedto make progress. His weight had now increased to2.3 kg (5 lbs) and he was feeding well. Theexcitement in the house was evident – the familywas doting on the little boy even as his two, slightlyolder cousin brothers ran around playfully.They had started planning for the namingceremony for the baby, a major cultural event, to beheld after nine months. This served as a grimreminder to us about the reality of life for thesefamilies – they refrain from naming their babies fornine months after birth, lest they lose them.However, the excited debate around the baby boy‟sname brought us back to the current happysituation. Should they name him “Surya” after thesun, or “Sunil” which refers to God?We wished them good luck, and the family bade usgoodbye with a generous parting gift of grain fromtheir field.
Kirti‟s baby girl is five days old. She was bornthrough a C-section, weighing only 1.7 kg (3.7lbs). Her baby was stable at birth, but her lowbirth weight meant that she had to be kept warmand under observation.Luckily, the Embrace warmer provided anaffordable option for Kirti to keep her baby warm.Her little girl has been in the product for the fivedays since birth and is in a stable condition.Kirti had lost her first child a month and a halfafter birth. Her voice dropped as she talked abouther first baby. But then she looked down at herbaby girl sleeping peacefully in the Embracewarmer and her face light up with acalm, confident smile.
The Embrace team visited Kirti at her home amonth after we met her with her baby girl in thehospital. We were given a warm welcome, andwere pleased to see that the baby girl weighed ahealthy 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) now, having being born at1.7 kg (3.75 lbs).Theirs is a large joint family – fourteen peopleliving under one roof. Although the local customis for the new mother to live with her parents for afew months, Kirti‟s family was very nervous anddecided it was best for her to stay with herhusband and in-laws, where they felt moreconfident about providing good care. The causefor their anxiety is the sad loss of Kirti‟s first child.It is this anxiety which causes the entire family tohover around the little girl nervously every timeshe cries.The family has chosen to lovingly call the babygirl “Chinnu”, until they hold the official namingceremony a few months from now. She is theapple of everyone‟s eye, including her 110 yearold great grandmother, “Ajji”. Ajji‟s loving attemptsto pacify Chinnu, and a little dance of joy shebroke into were two fond memories we left with.
Nagamani and her husband are both daylaborers. They have a 4 year old son, andNagamani just gave birth to twins – a girl and aboy.The twins were born through a normaldelivery, but were severelyunderweight, weighing 1.2 kg (2.65 pounds)each. Fortunately, the hospital had two Embracewarmers at hand and both babies could be caredfor. They were placed in the Embrace infantwarmer for six days, which helped them maintaintheir body temperature and gain weight. TheEmbrace device thus provided a way for thesetiny babies to receive much-needed, affordableextended care in the hospital.
This story is very inspiring for the Embrace team.This is a small facility in Davangere district ofKarnataka state which had absolutely no devicesto keep babies warm. Since most of their patientscan‟t afford care in higher referral hospitals, thisfacility ends up taking care of a lot of sick babies.In the absence of any other options, they woulduse a room heater to keep babies warm – ahighly unsafe and ineffective solution.But the Embrace infant warmer provided a ray ofhope for this facility. It has now become thestandard of care for low birth weight babies here.This 2.1 kg (4.6 lb) baby girl was born to Laxmithrough a C-section. She was placed in theEmbrace warmer for 7 days, which providedcritical thermal support and set her on the path tobetter health.This is the impact we strive for – empoweringdoctors to provide high quality care to theirpatients and bringing critical care withineveryone‟s reach.