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Cord Care: Paediatrician Warns Against Unorthodox Methods

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The use of concoctions, heat from lanterns and other unorthodox methods in the care of infant cord must be discouraged, a pediatrician at the National Hospital (NHA) Abuja, Dr. Tahir Lawal, has said.

Dr. Lawal told newsmen in Abuja recently that the connecting tissue between the baby’s placenta and the mother, called the umbilical cord, should not be treated with just anything than methylated spirit.

“Actually the umbilical cord is that connecting tissue between baby, placenta and the mother. After delivery, it contains blood vessels that carry blood from baby to placenta.

“Two arteries and the vein normally. Now after delivery, you tie it with a cord clamp and cut it, then clean with spirit and swab. The expected thing is that it should dry up and subsequently fall off.

“All you need for that is the methylated spirit for cleaning; immediately after cleaning, it will leave the place dry.

“And you do that whenever you are changing pampers or the minimum of, let’s say, three to four hourly intervals per day. That’s all that is needed.

“But I know that in our environment, there are a lot of funny things happening. I have seen a mother use engine oil, lantern, hot water, tooth paste and all sorts of things.

“Now, none of these is sterile and because that thing is a vessel containing arteries and a vein that means infections from there will simply go into the bloodstream.

“If you use water, it will remain wet, and it encourages growth of bacteria. All that is needed is methylated spirit.’’

Dr. Lawal said that over time, there were a lot of misconceptions by mothers on the care of umbilical cord and colic.

He explained that most mothers thought that it was an abnormal thing to see baby twist or cry.

He advised mothers to stop attributing the twisting and crying of babies to stomach pain.

He said: “A baby can cry from a lot of things. If he is hungry and he wants to eat, he cries. If he is wet, he’ll cry. When the room is stuffy, he will cry. If he is hot or sweaty, he will cry. Any sort of discomfort can make a baby cry and not necessarily because there is any pain anywhere.

“Sometimes a baby will cry simply because there is no one around and may want to be carried. That’s all the baby needs,’’ Dr. Lawal said

He stressed that the use of drugs should not be encouraged when infants twisted their bodies because such practice could lead to intestinal damage.

He recommended breast-feeding, rather than drugs as anti-dote to discomforting movement of the body by the baby.

“Check if the environment is too hot; too cold or stuffy or may the baby is wet, and adjust to the situation appropriately,’’ he said.

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Health

Immunization: Health Board Targets Rural Communities

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Towards ensuring that immunization campaign achieves its target of over 90 percent, the Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board, says it has provided modalities for trained health care providers to reach the interiors of the state.
Making this known in an exclusive interview, the Health Education / Coordinator, Rivers State Social and Behavioural Change Communication Committee, Dr Daris Nria, said provisions have been made to take the free immunisation exercise to the rural areas of the state.
Because immunisation programe will be running concurrently in all the local government areas, and these areas will be empowered with boats or other means of transport, as well as logistics.
She used this opportunity to call on the public especially parents and women of child bearing age to avail themselves the opportunity of being immunized against tetanus and other diseases.
In another development, the Maternal and Neonatal Child Health (MNCH) Focal Person, Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board, Dr Emen-Jaja stated that the MNCH week slated to commence from 20th – 24th September will provide health care services for children under the age of five years, pregnant women as well as their spouses.
Such services, according to her, include administration of vitamin A, deworming exercise, nutritional screening, general health checks, child spacing and birth registration.
“Both women of reproductive age and their spouses who visit the health care centres would also have free services within the week.

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CSO Wants Cancer Treatment Centres In Rivers

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The Rivers State Chapter of the Civil Society organsation (CSO) has called on the state government to establish cancer treatment centres in the state to address the current growing cancer cases in the state.
Making the call recently, chairman of the organisation, Mr Dennis Otobo, said going by the status among the community of states in the country, Rivers State needs such centres in strategic areas of the state.
He stated that “going by the position of Rivers State among other states in the country, we are over due to have enough cancer treatment centres, especially considering the State Government’s focus on the health of her people”.
According to him, “taking some of our cancer patients to other neighbouring states does not tell well of our health services, no matter how we look at it.
“Government should establish cancer treatment centres in the state, at least a one hub treatment centre in each LGA”, he said.
Otobo explained that for now, about 99 per cent of treatments for cancer and related services are provided by donor agencies and patients are taken outside the state for treatment, which requires a lot of fund that is mostly not available.
“If government can provide cancer treatment centres in the state, it will not only lessen the impact of the ailment in the state but will also alleviate the suffering of patients who cannot afford going for treatment outside the state”, he said.

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To Much Salt Consumption, Bad For Kidney – Expert

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A Nephrologist, specialist in Kidney disease, Dr Manda David-West, says excessive salt consumption is one key cause of kidney disease.
Stating this in a recent interview, she said in-take of too much salt is capable of damaging one’s kidney, in addition to raising blood pressure.
“Too much salt can raise up the Blood Pressure (BP), and once the BP is raised, if you are not on medication, It can damage the kidney over time, she said.
In order to prevent this, Dr David West, who is a Consultant Nephrologist at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) called for limitation in salt in-take.
She further stated that to prevent kidney disease, there was the need to cut down on carbohydrate and callory intake, alongside checking food in-take capable of increasing chances of developing diabetes mellitus.
Dr David West continued that enough intake of fruits and vegetables, alongside exercises with a view to keep fit also prevents kidney diseases.
Contrary to wide spread belief that food supplements are good for the body, Dr David West said too much intake of food supplements is not good for the body.
Accroding to her, besides taking fruits and vegetables, “they should engage in daily exercise, try and keep fit and be active as much.
“Even (food) supplement has not been proven to be good to the kidney, especially when it is taken for a long time.

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