Meet Dr Girish Deshpande
Dr Girish Deshpande a Neonatal Paediatrician at Nepean Hospital and Clinical Senior Lecturer with the University of Sydney, Girish has received research funding from OZWAC since 2010.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria which are naturally present in the gut and fight against harmful bacteria. Premature babies are often too unwell to be fed milk at first, so they lack these friendly bacteria and they are at risk of developing a devastating bowel infection (NEC) which can be fatal or have a life-long effect on health.
With the support of OZWAC, Dr Girish in December 2011 introduced routine probiotic supplementation for premature babies being treated at the Nepean Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to help prevent NEC.
Nepean NICU was the first NICU in Australia to do so. In a study that lasted 5 years and treated more than 400 premature babies, this devastating bowel infection was almost completely eliminated from the Nepean Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This ground breaking research has led to a major improvement in neonatal care and probiotics are now routinely given to premature babies in neonatal units all over the world. And to think this started in Penrith NSW with OZWAC support.