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Seek help early for babies with deformities - Doctors urge parents

BY: Dickson Worlanyo Dotse
Seek help early for babies with deformities - Doctors urge parents
Seek help early for babies with deformities - Doctors urge parents

Doctors on the Vodafone Healthline show have urged parents to seek medical care immediately they have babies with deformities.

They explained that waiting gave the deformities the needed time to become more permanent.

“Early intervention is the best because the older the child gets, the stronger the bones become and the more fixed the joints get,” they said.

They further advised parents and guardians to desist from trying to find alternative means or result to hiding the babies from the public eye because they feared criticism.

Dr Aba Folson and Dr Kwekuma Yalley were contributing as panellists on the ninth episode of the 10th edition of the show about the condition of a little girl in Kwaman in the Ashanti Region, who was born with limp defects.

Causes

Dr Yalley said even though the exact causes of such deformities were still unclear, some maternal behaviour such as smoking during pregnancy might predispose a child to the condition.

He said during the formative stages of a baby, which he said was usually 26 days after conception, certain chemicals, when introduced into the body, could interfere with the process.

In addition, Dr Folson said maternal alcoholism and viral infections could also predispose a baby to deformities.

Story

Narrating the story, the mother and grandmother said young Akosua Sarfoa was born with limp defects and was referred to the Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Koforidua where it could be remedied but the family refrained as a result of financial constraints.

As the child grew, the grandmother sought for help to enable the child to go to school.

“Fortunately, we had some assistance, which enabled us to work on her legs.

“So the doctors put her in a POP for about 10 months before she could take a step,” she said.

She added that they were scheduled to go back to the hospital for treatments of her hands but due to financial difficulties, they could not make it.

Intervention

“It was at this time that Vodafone came to the rescue of little Akosua to undergo a procedure so she can have a normal childhood.

“When Vodafone came, I heard they wanted to restore my daughter’s ailing hands and I’m very happy,” the mother said.

Rheumatic heart disease

As part of the show, a clinician from the National Cardiothoracic Centre, Dr Innocent Adzamli, educated viewers on rheumatic heart disease.

He described the disease as damage to the heart valves as a result of infection.

Dr Adzamli said the fever, which led to the disease, began as a condition similar to the sore throat and was caused by a germ known as Streptococcus.

“People with rheumatic fever may experience swelling called nodules on various parts of the bodies, especially around their small joints.

“They may find them around the base of the thumbs and around the fingers, and the toes,” he said.

Dr Adzamli said people with the condition typically complained about migratory joint pains because different joints hurt at different periods.

“It is at this stage that it is important that the disease is diagnosed and treated.

“If not, that is when the complications of the effect of rheumatic fever leading to rheumatic heart disease occur,” he added.

Symptoms, cure

Dr Adzamli said the disease mimicked those of heart failure, which included fatigue, fast breathing, shortness of breath at night, or shortness of breath on lying down.

He, therefore, said the initial fever stage could be cured with antibiotics while the disease stage could be cured through medication for heart failure followed by surgery.