Baby Noura with her father at Zulekha Hospital
Dubai - Three months on from her premature birth on January 30, she is making steady progress
A baby girl born at only 22 weeks to Kuwaiti parents -who were in the UAE on a short break - is now showing positive signs of growth and becoming healthier every day.
Baby Noura was classed as an extremely preterm baby when she was born at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah, weighing only 600 grammes - less than a litre of water. Three months on from her premature birth on January 30, she now weighs just over 1.5kg and is making steady progress.
Her birth was triggered by a urinary infection in her mother, which saw her admitted to the hospital during their short vacation. Dr Nada Elsheikh, specialist gynaecologist, and Dr Mohammad Nabeel Khalaf, consultant neonatologist, were at hand at the Sharjah branch of Zulekha Hospital and responsible for the safe delivery of the vacationers' child.
Dr Khalaf said: "The first few days of a preterm's life are crucial for its survival. Basic care such as warmth as well as treatment for infections and breathing were provided in order to maximise the baby's chances.
"The infant was placed on a special breathing machine which enables a very gentle and fast airflow in order to protect her lungs.
"Additionally, we had to make sure the baby was handled in an extremely gentle manner regarding all aspects of her treatment. This was due to her fragility and the very high risk of developing intracranial bleeding or pneumothorax (collapsed lung)."
Zulekha Hospital Sharjah's neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) team is now making preparations for baby Noura to return home.
"The baby has been doing well and has had no major complications. Although it is still too early to predict for certain, chances are she can live a normal life," added Dr Khalaf.
With a high mortality rate associated with extremely preterm births, the World Health Organisation estimates that 75 per cent of deaths related to premature births could be eradicated through cost-effect interventions.
In March last year, a baby girl was born at 22 weeks and weighed only 450 grammes. She is possibly the most premature baby to survive in the UAE. Earlier, baby Nicolas was born weighing only 530 grammes - lesser than an iPad.