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Urgent appeal for RM331,000 to save 13 premature babies

Having been born early, these babies now face medical complications such as respiratory distress syndrome, congenital pneumonia and sepsis.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Two of 13 premature babies in need of funding for medical care. Photo: giveasia
Two of 13 premature babies in need of funding for medical care. Photo: giveasia

An activist has launched a campaign to raise some RM331,000 for the medical support of 13 babies who were born prematurely and are now struggling with conditions such as respiratory distress syndrome, congenital pneumonia and neonatal jaundice.

Hartini Zainudin, who has worked nearly three decades for the welfare of marginalised children, began the campaign as part of her "No Child Left Behind" vision. 

The funds would go towards supporting specialised medical treatment and the necessary medication and equipment, as well as continuous monitoring from doctors and nurses. 

"Without the funding needed, these babies will not be able to receive much needed life saving medical intervention, and their parents will be forced to bring them home before they are even medically ready, gravely jeopardising their chances of survival," a statement introducing the campaign read, adding that the babies were "fighting for their lives" in the neonatal ICU. 

It said two of the babies were twins who had been born early at just 1.14kg and 1.4kg respectively.

Another baby was born to a mother who was diagnosed with eclampsia, it said, adding that the infant now faced "a host of medical complications" including sepsis and neonatal encephalopathy.

"The financial burden that comes with such specialised care is overwhelming. Each day can cost hundreds of dollars for them, which is a struggle for families like theirs that are often working in labour intensive jobs that only pay a minimum wage," it added.

"By giving, we ensure aid is dedicated to providing medical care, resources, and support to preterm babies. We can help give them a fighting chance at a bright and healthy future," Hartini, who set up the Yayasan Chow Kit child crisis centre in Kuala Lumpur, was quoted as saying. 

Fellow activist Syed Azmi meanwhile said that every donation would give hope to the babies in question. 

"This drive goes beyond monetary values, but is also a show of support and encouragement that will give strength to the mothers to show them that they are not alone," Syed Azmi, who spearheads community-led initiatives at NGOHub, added.