Health Related Q&A Mother and Child Care

List of Questions

Q1.How we can ensure neonat health service in a rural setting in the developing countries?

Q2.What are the fatal diseases of early childhood? How to manage a case of Penumonia in an infant?

Q3 It is said in the text books and some other literatures that "bathing the baby immediately after birth is not necessary? If not, why not? What happens if the baby is bathe immediately after birth?

Q4.Would you please tell us how could immunization help children's health?

Q5. It is often said that mother's milk is the first vaccination for the neonat. Please elaborate. How does a newborn gets infected with tetanus germ?

Q6.My first boy child is 3 months and 20days. During his birth time he was infected by Meconium aspiration Pheumonitis. He took several times antibiotic for respiratory infection. My question is, "Is my child resistant to antibiotic in future. And what should I do for preventing my child?"

Answer : Please note that as there is significant overlap between the questions, Dr Epton has responded in just one reply instead of breaking it up.

Providing neonatal care in a rural setting in a developing country is particularly challenging, especially given the often-limited resources. However, certain universal principles remain important:

Infection is a major concern in the neonatal period, regardless of where the baby is born. Many of the most devastating illnesses in early childhood are due to infections. Cleanliness is therefore essential. Sterilise all reusable items, even if it is only with boiling water if there is nothing else available. Pay particular attention to the instruments used to cut the umbilical cord, as cutting the cord with a dirty instrument is the most common cause of acquired tetanus in the neonatal period.

The basics of neonatal resuscitation are easy to teach and should be taught to all people present at deliveries. Most babies only require drying, warming and tactile stimulation, but a basic understanding of helping the baby to breathe can result in reduced morbidity from birth asphyxia. Also, prevention of temperature instability in the immediate postnatal period by drying and wrapping the baby in a clean towel, rather than bathing the baby immediately, can reduce the risk of breathing difficulties.

All mothers ought to be encouraged to breast feed their babies as a means of providing adequate nutrition and protection against infection. Not only does it not rely on a clean water supply, but breast milk also contains antibodies, which are the body's natural defence against infection. Ensuring a baby is adequately nourished also helps protect against infection, as a malnourished infant is weaker, and more susceptible to infection.

Immunisations help to prevent some childhood infections which are either often fatal, or have severe long-term complications. With the help of international aid agencies such as WHO and UNICEF, all babies should now have access to immunisations against some of the most devastating infections of childhood. These immunisations significantly reduce the risk of acquiring these infections, and, if all the babies in a community are immunised, can even cause the disease to be completely eradicated.

Sometimes it is necessary to give a baby antibiotic medication for infection, particularly if that infection is acquired at or around the time of birth, when the baby's own immune system is not yet fully developed. In these cases, antibiotics are unavoidable and life saving; however, care should be taken not to prescribe multiple courses of broad spectrum antibiotics for minor illnesses in otherwise well, healthy children, as this can cause infections to become resistant to antibiotics and the antibiotics to become less effective over time.

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