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Teenage Mother Stranded with Pre-Mature Triplets

Barbara Acaya, a P.5 school dropout from Agwayugi Primary School and a resident of Lukome Parish, Bungatira Sub –County in Gulu District delivered the triplets pre –maturely on 6th March this year, two months before the due date. It is believed the malaria she suffered from led to the pre –mature delivery.
Acayo's triplets sleeping inside the incubator at Neonatal Ward at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital -Photo by Jesse Johnson James

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An eighteen-year-old mother is stranded with her pre-mature triplets at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.

Barbara Acaya, a P.5 school dropout from Agwayugi Primary School and a resident of Lukome Parish, Bungatira Sub –County in Gulu District delivered the triplets pre –maturely on 6th March this year, 56 days before the due date of delivery. The Malaria she suffered from is believed to have led to the pre –mature delivery.

The two girls and a boy weighed 900gms, 1kg and 1.2kgs respectively upon delivery but as of Tuesday 23rd measurement, the two girls maintained their weights while the boy reduced to 1.1kg, something the doctors attribute to lack of enough breast milk.

According to Acayo, her 20-year-old husband identified as David Odong abandoned her immediately he learnt that she had delivered triplets. She says that she normally tries calling him to plead for some support but his phone is apparently always been switched off.

Acayo says because she eats only once every evening, breast milk dried up making her unable to feed the new born babies, something that is causing her fear of losing them.

// Cue in: “Peko madit ma…

Cue in: …amiyo itgi weng.” //

By press time, the babies were sleeping in one incubator at the Neonatal Ward at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital. They are tiny, malnourished and pale.

One of the nurses at the Neonatal Ward explained that pre-mature babies are removed from the incubators once they gained weight of not less than 1.5kgs but that Acayo’s triplets are taking longer in the incubator due to lack of milk from their mother to help them gain weight quickly.

She says for a mother of a pre –mature baby to be able to feed it effectively, she has to eat at least three times a day, drink a lot of fluids and also eat enough fruits so that breast milk is generated.

Acayo therefore asked for support in terms of food stuffs, milk and warm clothes for her babies from the general public.

Currently, there are 10 pre –mature babies at the Neonatal Ward at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.