The overall survival at Las Tunas neonatology sevice was 97 percent

Yudith Libén Pérez has many hopes, those that sprouted at the birth of her son Leimer, a little boy whose prognosis was not the most encouraging. Now, with him in her arms, she tells of those days with admirable strength and infinite gratitude to those who made the "miracle" possible.

Las Tunas, Cuba. - "It was an elective C-section and the baby convulsed several times the next day of birth. He went through a very difficult process. During this time, I have been well treated and I have no complaints from any worker". Mother and child, united by genuine love, embrace true happiness.

Like Leimer, more than 5,020 children were born in 2020, 255 less than in the previous calendar, a continuation of the trend of recent years that shows a reduction in the birth rate.

Dr. Yodalis Cedeño Ramírez, head of the Neonatology Service at Dr. Ernesto Guevara de la Serna General Teaching Hospital, recognizes in the eyes of mothers the joy when they huddle their little ones, after a hard battle for life.

"The year just ended demanded greater sacrifices for our staff, as Covid-19 prevented the entry of vital resources in the care of the newborn. Nevertheless, alternatives were sought in order to provide the best assistance to the more than 1,200 babies who were admitted here. The overall survival was 97 percent and in the less than 1,500 grams, 82 percent, which shows a specialized work with the group at greatest risk," he explained.

In the recently concluded 2020, the main causes of mortality and morbidity of the service were associated with preterm deliveries and low birth weight. Likewise, there is an increase in children who do not grow as much as necessary within the maternal cloister.


The Neonatology specialist, Leydis Valladares Prado, cannot contain the emotion or the tears that come to her face when she mentions her little ones. "We give ourselves completely to them and we are attentive to the smallest detail.

She confesses that it was a period of challenges, but she did not lack the will to promote each of the programs. "This service has special characteristics, and the hygiene measures have always existed, but they were extreme due to the sanitary context. We adopted the strategy of informing a single family member about the patient's condition during the interviews, which were usually attended by several people."

Nearby, nurse Vidalina Núñez Rodríguez changes the diaper of a newborn baby in a neonatal incubator. She does it with extreme care and beyond a procedure, learned in her two decades of the profession, she shows love for the tiny figurine she has seen develop little by little and now feels so much her own.

"You learn to love them, and when you finish your shift you don't stop thinking about them; from the house, you call to ask how they are. This work makes us more sensitive to other people's pain," he says in a choppy voice.

Her colleague, neonatal nurse Ofelia Coy Blanco, with 40 years of experience, also speaks of affection, sacrifices and commitments. From the skin-to-skin room, she promotes this effective method that helps the baby reach the appropriate weight and promotes neurological, psychological and emotional development. "We have obtained good results and the children have not had to return to intensive care," she says with satisfaction.

Year after year this team of professionals perform real feats, and their greatest recognition is knowing they are responsible for a child's smile and the joy of families; they are reasons that drive and also feed the spirit. This 2021 the challenges grow and at the same time the will to improve the indicators of the Mother and Child Program, in a constant bet for life.