A tiny bracelet is helping to save the lives of thousands of newborn babies in PNG and P&O Cruises’ guests are playing a part through the power of their one dollar contributions to the P&O Pacific Partnership.
PNG has one of the world’s highest infant mortality rates with 6,000 babies dying each year before the age of four weeks, in many cases due to hypothermia caused by a sudden fall in body temperature.
This ‘Bebi Kol Kilok’ bracelet – or ‘Baby Cold Clock’ – fitted on a baby’s wrist flashes a warning to parents if the infant’s temperature drops. The warning prompts the parents to use ‘Kangaroo Care’ – close skin-to-skin contact to warm their baby giving the infant a chance to survive and thrive.
The P&O Pacific Partnership is supporting UNICEF to introduce the bracelets in PNG including in Alotau where P&O ships have been visiting since 2013 as P&O led the resurgence of cruising to PNG from Australia.
Sture Myrmell, President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia, said the P&O Pacific Partnership’s support of the program was a natural step given P&O’s strong and positive relationship with PNG and its communities.
“This opportunity for the P&O Pacific Partnership to help fund a program to protect the health and wellbeing of mothers and newborns is an extension of this commitment,” Mr Myrmell said.
The mother and baby girl who was born in Alotau last weekend became recipients of a Bebi Kol Kilok enabling the parents to keep an eye on the infant’s body temperature.
A second element of the UNICEF ‘Saving Lives – Spreading Smiles’ program provides care for mothers who experience potentially life threatening bleeding following childbirth. A package of care includes a Non-Pneumatic Anti-Shock Garment – a low cost external pressure suit to help control post-delivery bleeding.