Sofia Hosts 3rd Global Summit for Preemies
Bulgaria hosted on Friday the Third Global Summit for Improving the Standard of Care for Preemies, bringing together participants from five continents who united efforts to discuss ways of saving the life and health of premature babies, organizers say.
As many as 140 leading healthcare experts, neonatologists, parents, representatives of patients’ organizations from 26 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa gathered in the capital Sofia to talk about the most pressing problems and basic challenges which preterm babies and their families face.
Bulgaria is the third country to host the Global Summit for Preemies after Poland and Colombia. This year’s event was organized by “Our Premature Children” Foundation in cooperation with the Bulgarian Society of Neonatology and with the support of AbbVie Bulgaria.
The summit was opened by Prof Maya Krasteva, Head of the Bulgarian Neonatology Association, and Nina Nikolova, Chairwoman of Our Premature Children Foundation. The delegates had the opportunity to hear about the experience of Germany, Poland, Colombia, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Lebanon, the Netherlands, the Baltic countries and Brazil represented by 19 speakers. The main topics of the Summit were follow-up care after leaving the neonatal unit, ophthalmology, respiratory and neurology complications and strategies to address them, the so called kangaroo mother care and the steps for joining efforts of doctors and parents.
One of the strongest messages of the Summit was the call for integration of parents in the care for premature babies even when they are still in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and the combining of efforts of neonatologists, nurses, physiotherapists and other experts participating in the process of preserving the life and health of a preterm baby. All participants in the Summit agreed that the best results would come from the collective work of a multifunctional team of specialists who fight together with the family for the surviving even of the tiniest babies. Many speakers presented undeniable facts in favor of the necessity of mothers’ presence in the NICU and their right to be near the preterm babies. The close proximity and communication between the mother and her infant child is essential for the baby’s improvement and growth, as well as for the parents’ readiness to take responsibility and give the best care for the premature baby.
Among the speakers at the Summit were: Silke Mader, Chairperson of the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants, prof. Maria Katarzyna Borszewska-Kornacka, President of the Polish Neonatal Society, Dr. Jose Maria Solano, President of the Colombian Neonatology Association, prof. Tibor Ertl, President of the Advisory Committee for Neonatology to the Hungarian Secretary of Health, prof. Maya Krasteva, Head of the Bulgarian Neonatology Association, prof. Boriana Sluncheva, National Consultant in Neonatology, Bulgaria, assoc. prof. Ralitza Georgieva, Head of Neonatology Department, Specialized Hospital for Active Treatment of Childhood Diseases in Sofia and others.
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