Our current focus is supporting the CHEO Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that supported The Division of Neonatology at The Ottawa Hospital when our triplets were born and during the care for Nayah. 

Our current focus is supporting the CHEO Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that supported The Division of Neonatology at The Ottawa Hospital when our triplets were born and during the care for Nayah. 


Locally we support the Neonatal Intensive Care Units in our communities 

  1. In Ottawa our primary support goes to CHEO
  2. Canada wide, we are encouraging families and individuals who would love to support Neonatal Intensive Care Units in their own community to partner with us in organizing fundraising event.  

In addition to our own children, we are fortunate to have been able to witness families who today are more than thankful for the care and services they received at the NICU during some of the thoughest moments. 

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The NICU is where newborn babies who need intensive medical attention, start their promising lives. The NICU combines advanced technology and trained health care professionals to provide specialized care for the tiniest patients.

We will always remember exactly how grateful we were everyday seeing our premature babies grow and thrive due to immense support that was available to them everyday and every night. Thanks to the NICU we experienced the greatest joy of bringing our babies home.

Seeing and fully knowing that the NICU staff did all they could to save Naylah was the most comforting feeling during the darkest moment of our lives.
— Solange & Oumar Keita
"Critically ill and high-risk newborns are cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at CHEO. In addition to providing hospital care to newborns in a 20-bed unit, CHEO also provides the transfer of critically ill infants. The Neonatal Transport Team is available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week to provide stabilization for safe and seamless transfer of critically ill infants to an appropriate unit.”  CHEO, NICU


 NICU Facts

  • Over 90% of babies needing Neonatal intensive Care Unit (NICU) services in region come to The Ottawa Hospital.
  • Every year 6,500, babies are delivered at The Ottawa Hospital.
  • Babies needing surgery go to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), but extremely premature babies, 24 weeks to full term, are seen at the NICU
  • Approximately 1,300 babies are admitted to the NICU every year, 750 at Civic, 550 at General, and 250 are transferred to CHEO.
  • The length of stay ranges from 2 days to 4 months depending on the infants' needs.
  • The capacity at the Civic for 17 babies, and 25 at the General. The facilities need to be upgraded, and state-of-the-art equipment purchased.
  • The NICU also offers help for mothers for baby care
With the support of our generous donors, not only do we care for tiny patients, we support parents and families struggling to come to terms with complications at birth and/or their newborn’s illness.

                                         -- The Ottawa General Hospital, NICU




Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

In many developing countries, little progress has been made in closing the gap in antenatal care between urban and rural women. Maternal deaths are now increasingly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, where high fertility rates combined with inadequate access to quality antenatal care and skilled attendance at birth to substantially elevate the risk of death in this region. According the the World Health Organization:

  • Every year nearly 45% of all under 5 child deaths are among newborn infants, babies in their first 28 days of life or the neonatal period.
  • Three quarters of all newborn deaths occur in the first week of life.
"In 2015, it is estimated that about 800 girls and women died every day as a result of pregnancy and child birth-related complications.
                                            - UNICEF
In support of UNICEF Canada

As we can see, there is a clear and urgent need to support mothers and babies. 

As part of our global program, Naylah’s Legacy will focus on raising funds to help mothers and babies in the most vulnerable situation. Through our partnership with UNICEF Canada, each year, Naylah’s Legacy will raise awareness and fundraise for a specific project directly linked to support the most vulnerable babies in a developing country.

Naylah’s Legacy partnership with UNICEF Canada goes far beyond one country, as an organization that is part of the United Nations, it gives Nayah’s Legacy the opportunity to support mothers and a babies in more than 190 countries through the Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Initiative.  


For the first time in history, we have the available knowledge and technologies to reach the world’s most marginalized children with life-saving interventions. By working together with renewed determination, we can save more children’s lives.
— UNICEF Canada

According to UNICEF, while the world has achieved impressive reductions in mortality of children aged under five since 1990, the survival of newborns (young infants in the first month of life) has lagged behind. It is estimated that in 2015, about 1 million newborns died, equivalent to 2,740 per day. A child born in 2015 was approximately 500 times more likely to die on the first day of life that at one month of age. The high burden of stillbirths is also an increasingly recognized problem, with 2.6 million estimated stillbirths in 2015. 

A significant proportion of maternal, newborn and under five deaths are in zones of conflict and displacement (probably between 10 and 20% but difficult to estimate exactly due to lack of data). UNICEF’s health strategy also aims at building resilient and prepared health systems and to provide service delivery in crisis context.”

Humanitarian trip to Haiti - Solange Tuyishime - UNICEF Canada Ambassador

Humanitarian trip to Haiti - Solange Tuyishime - UNICEF Canada Ambassador

To this end, UNICEF has established Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed - a global effort to accelerate action on maternal, newborn and child survival. Ending preventable maternal and child deaths means, first, giving children a healthy start by providing pregnant mothers with quality care and nutrition during pregnancy. It means giving newborns a safe delivery, the ability to breathe in the first crucial moments of life, and proper nourishment to avoid stunting. It means newborns are sheltered, breastfed, kept warm and shielded from diseases like HIV. And it means protecting children from infectious diseases like malaria and pneumonia with vaccines, bed nets, and antibiotics. UNICEF is supporting governments to reach the most vulnerable women and children with the highest impact interventions to save lives.
— UNICEF Canada

UNICEF programming around maternal and newborn health seeks to reduce inequities of care, strengthen health systems, incorporate resilience and risk-informed planning, and focus attention on reduction of adolescent pregnancies. UNICEF promotes a holistic, rights-based approach of maternal and child health. To this end, UNICEF seeks to enhance the role of women, prevent child marriage, increase girls’ education, educate, and eliminate female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), and support the development of adolescent life skills.