Support for neonatal infectious disease screening in the Gaza Strip, Palestine

We are pleased to announce the start of the new project by NWRG for 2022, supported by funds from Otto per Mille of the Waldensian Church.

The program will take place in the hospital wards of Neonatal Intensive Care, in collaboration with the local Ministry of Health.

The project aims to detect cases of neonatal sepsis and identify the causes in order to assign adequate therapy to those affected.

Neonatal sepsis is a blood infection and the leading cause of death of newborns: it accounts for about 50% of neonatal lethality cases among those hospitalized in intensive care units. Acting quickly can prevent death or permanent damage to the newborn, such as irreversible brain damage, developmental delay, epilepsy, or damage to other organs. Sepsis can be addressed with immediate identification and targeted antibiotic therapy. Gaza currently lacks the material safeguards to do so.

In Gaza, about 70,000 babies are born a year and 10% are hospitalized in intensive care units; of these about 50% are at risk or have sepsis.

Hence the motivation of our project. The contribution will therefore potentially protect / save about 3,500 newborns a year from the consequences of this infection.

Sepsis diagnostic materials are currently in zero stock. By providing the materials for laboratory diagnosis, since protocols and personnel are already available, we can immediately promote the continuity of a life-saving service. The analyzes that can be done are also necessary to identify the most appropriate antibiotic therapy, given the high prevalence of bacterial strains, the first responsible for sepsis, which are resistant to a large number of common antibiotics.

Our group, having collaborated scientifically for 10 years in projects in the maternity wards of Gaza, is documented on the importance of maintaining the program of diagnosis and treatment of neonatal sepsis.


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