“Don’t Place Camphor In Rooms To Prevent Neonatal Jaundice”
Dr. Bright Asiamah, a pediatrician at the Sunyani Regional Hospital (SRU), has advised the public, particularly mothers, to stop putting naphthalene balls (camphor) in rooms and in wardrobes because of its negative health effects.
According to him, contact with the substance could cause jaundice in people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiencies.
Most mothers put naphthalene balls in the clothing of newborn babies after washing but that was dangerous because it had been known to be another cause of neonatal jaundice among newborn babies, he observed.
Dr. Asiamah told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview after an education and sensitisation programme in Sunyani to create awareness of the neonatal jaundice for mothers and the public to help in its prevention.
He said neonatal jaundice had been identified to be one of the leading conditions of infant mortality in the country, adding that the disease affected the babies’ brain and could further cause child disabilities.
Dr. Asiamah therefore urged pregnant women to attend ante-natal clinics for sensitisation about the disease to know the causes, dangers and how it could be prevented to have healthy babies.
He said the challenges of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the SRU was decongestion, explaining that because of the non-availability of phototherapy machines in most of the hospitals in the region, more cases were being referred to the SRU regularly.
Consequently, the pediatrician said most mothers were always not happy seeing their babies “packed” in the few available phototherapy machines.
Dr. Asiamah appealed to corporate entities, charitable organisations and philanthropists to assist in purchasing more phototherapy machines for the treatment of the disease at the SRU to save the lives of babies. On
e phototherapy machine cost GHS 58,000.00, he added. Nana Akosua Akoma Dankari I, the SompaHemaa of the Sunyani Traditional Area urged nurses to limit the use of mobile phones during working hours and focus mainly on patients, particularly babies and children in such emergency conditions.
She alleged most children and other patients lost their lives due to the negligence of some nurses who refused to give proper attention to them because those nurses valued what they did on their mobile phones more than the lives of patients.