Masivuye Mahleba

Though it is a phenomenon that is shared by all life, death (especially to us humans) is sore and difficult to accept. The extreme of cases is when the life that is lost is that of a young baby or infant. An extremely sore and unfortunate case is when a mother carries a baby but not to full term. Babies are meant to be when they are actually meant to be born, and how long is that? From place to place and culture to culture this question might yield different answers. However on average it is found that this period is 280 days or about 40 weeks (or about 9 month to months). 

Doctors call this EDD (Estimated Date of Delivery) and only about 8% of mothers normally deliver exactly on EDD. Most mothers can deliver a week earlier or later (which must actually be the time that the mama’s body felt ready to deliver her gift and so it can be, and do all manners of things with and among us.) In terms of EDD there are Preterm, Term and Post term babies (before due time, in due time, overdue time). Yes! Not all of us stayed inside our mothers’ wombs for exactly the same duration, which is probably why not all of us love Injera (but that is probably all for another day).

Preterm birth is the problematic of these and the most unfortunate case all over the world. The world health organisation (WHO) says that every year millions of babies (about 15 million) are born before time. In November 2012 SA-NGO-pulsenet.org published that in South Africa, more the 8%  babies had been born too early, and also revealed that South Africa ranked 24th out of 184 countries in terms of infant deaths related to babies being born before time.

In a nutshell, preterm birth happens because the mother’s body tells the womb that it is time to deliver the baby while that instruction is based on confused knowledge of itself which could be created by the consumption of certain substances which are usually fun to indulge in (most commonly smoking and drinking).

On Tuesday, 25 April 2017. Researchers in Paris, France reported that “an artificial womb filled with clear synthetic amniotic fluid, successfully tested in pre-natal lambs, could help extremely [preterm] babies avoid death and/or life-long disability”. This breakthrough invention mimics life in the uterus and could, if approved for human use, improve the quality of lives of preterm born babies. “The umbilical cord is attached via tubes to a machine outside the bag. These tubes remove carbon dioxide (CO2) and add oxygen (O2) to blood passing through it”, reported the researchers. In a not-so-nutshell, peep the table that was sourced from the Healthline.com , you can see that sometimes this happens for reason which might not be the body's conscious decision, and it can even happen for no known reason at all.

Premature Stats


Surely none of us wishes to experience this in any way. This is why any news about developments dealing with it is simply exciting news. Be it news about efforts to prevent preterm birth or reduce its prevalence or news about technologies to deal with preterm babies once they are born, it is great news.  It is great news for Abantu and Ubuntu for it is to ensure that preterm babies develop well and get a fair chance at living a life as long anybody else can, at their own liberty.

That is why we salute the Biobag development and its strides. 

Read more about it here http://www.theverge.com/2017/4...