Brimbank’s Vietnamese community has raised more than $300,000 to bolster the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Over a six-month period, the Vietnamese Community Appeal, led by the Quang Minh Temple in Braybrook, raised the funds for the newly opened hospital.

The funds have gone towards the purchase of a neonatal intensive care transport cot to provide for the safe transfer of sick and premature babies to the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Six neonatal cameras that allow families remote viewing of their babies were also purchased with the money raised.

The Joan Kirner Hospital is only the second in Australia to have the specialised cameras installed.Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital divisional director Adelle Mollo said they’re a significant investment.

“Having a newborn baby in intensive care is a parent’s worst nightmare,” she said.

“They feel fearful and powerless and often their babies will be hospitalised for weeks or even months, making it difficult for parents and family to always be by their sides.

“These new cameras can help to make parents’ time away from their newborns a little less stressful, by providing on-demand, live streaming of their baby direct from the neonatal cot.

It also provides remote viewing or extended family members, especially those that live interstate or overseas.”

Western Health and the Western Health Foundation honoured the Vietnamese community’s contribution with a special celebration last month, during which a commemorative plaque was unveiled.

The plaque will be installed at the entrance to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.Since it was opened on September 15, 2019, the unit has cared for 26 babies.

Western Health says about half of these would previously have been transferred to another service.