The formula that saved premature babies The Marker

In just a few years and with a relatively low budget, an initiative by the Ministry of Health succeeded in dramatically improving the condition of premature babies in Israel ■ The method was simple: ranking, competitiveness, transparency, flexibility and cooperation between different players ■ All that needs to be done now is to pass it on


Lia Shohori was born 11 years ago, on the last day of Operation Cast Lead, in the 29th week of pregnancy, with a tiny weight of 768 grams. "I gave birth in Ichilov, far from home, because we are residents of the Gaza Strip and there are no protected births in our area," says her mother, Black Romans. "Lia's life was in danger for a long time. We were premature for 110 days, during which she went through the whole spectrum of problems that tiny premature babies go through - breathing, infections, necrosis of the intestine and surgeries. She was in critical condition most of the time. There were several times when they asked me to quickly call my partner to say goodbye to her.

"It was difficult. This is our first child, she is in a critical medical condition and there is great doubt about her survival. Technically it is also very difficult: I was premature the whole time, but I had no place to sleep. At first we wandered among friends near the hospital, and later That's how they found an impromptu solution for me in a room at a nursing school because I didn't want to go home without her. I lived in the hospital during this whole period."

Happily, the severe fears were dispelled: today Lia is a smiling 11-year-old girl. "She has "premature remnants, such as attention and concentration disorder and issues of growth, and it took a while before she ate properly, but she is truly a miracle," says Shohori. Today Shohori devotes her time for management Lahav Association For premature babies, to help other families who are going through the experience of premature babies. "Premature birth is often a big shock and crisis," she says. "A sudden drop in water catches a family by complete surprise, no one is prepared for it, and suddenly you have a child in danger of life."

The program was born after the Ministry of Health realized that the situation in preterm infants could not continue. The State Comptroller's reports, articles in the media, pressure from parents of premature infants - all dealt with one issue: the insufficient level of functioning of premature infants in Israel, the acute shortage of manpower that led to infections, irreversible damage and death. , Israel was behind other Western countries by a large gap that only kept growing," he says Dr. Molly Tsangan, Chairman of the Association of Neonatologists and director of the Barzilai nursery in Ashkelon. "The mortality rates were also two to five times higher compared to Western countries. It was frustrating, and it was clear that it was necessary to invest more in premature babies."

"The program managed to put preemies on the agenda of the managements who wanted to gain reputation and money, and created a positive buzz and a better responsiveness of the managements to the needs of preemies," says Dr. Tsangan. "The model allows us to promote an up-to-date treatment policy for premature infants. We gradually began to introduce process and outcome indicators and not just infrastructure indicators: infections, giving breast milk, supportive care, training, observations and investigations."


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