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Shortages of incubators at major hospitals across Ghana are affecting premature babies. In some facilities, three babies have to share a single incubator. In the past, parents often hid their preterm babies — but now, they are coming to hospitals for treatment.
Preterm babies at Tamale Teaching Hospital are on life support. Incubators are key pieces of equipment for keeping them alive. Over 14% of all births in Ghana are preterm.
But there are not enough incubators. "The lack of adequate incubators means that we have to pair them; sometimes even in threes," says pediatric specialist Alhassan Abdul Mumin.
At the hospital, mothers are taught how to best care for their babies. One option is carrying the baby in front instead on the back. This provides warmth for the baby. Uman Baba Mahama was born preterm himself.
But with love and care, he now gets to live his life. Governmental initiatives have improved the care of preterm babies. Despite the successes, Ghana needs more incubators to save preterm babies.