Ukraine: All things neonatal

In October, our partners from the Ukrainian Preemie Parent Association “Ранні пташки” (Early Birds), the Association of Neonatologists of Ukraine, the “Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology of NAMS of Ukraine”, DP “IPAG NAMS of Ukraine” and Shupyk National Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education, organised the international conference “Modern approaches to rehabilitation of premature babies and children at an early age: Ukrainian realities” in Kiev, Ukraine. With 350 participants the conference was a big success and a great opportunity for Ukrainian doctors and parents to exchange knowledge and experience. A unique feature of the conference was that mothers of preterm born babies were hosting the symposium. Also, Early Birds published a brochure on rehabilitation with information about all centres in Ukraine that offer their services. The brochure is now available online free of charge.

Moreover, on World Prematurity Day, Early Birds organised and opened the photo exhibition «Dads in the Focus». The little heroes of the exhibition – preterm babies, visited the grand opening of the event, with their parents. An interesting fact – almost all photographers whose works are presented there are also parents of “early birds”.

“Everyone is used to the fact that the mother is engaged in taking care of the child. However, we do not accentuate the daddy who comes and supports his child and his wife. If the dad is near the child early on, it strengthens the psycho-emotional and physical connection between the parents and the child. Dad become more competent in child care,” says Elena Bondar, co-head and one of the exhibition’s organizers.

“The destruction of a stereotype that a woman is caring for a child while her husband is working is a matter of country’s development”, says Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine Alexander Linchevsky. “When we talk about the role of parents in the family, it is necessary to remember: upbringing, and care of a child is not a maternal duty, it’s family. As soon as we become a society where both a woman and a man can be realized on equal opportunities, the whole society will benefit from it,” says Linchevsky.

This exhibition is kindly supported by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the Association of Neonatologists of Ukraine, as well as by the main perinatal centres and maternity hospitals.