General News of Saturday, 17 November 2018
Mrs Joyce Agyeiwaa, Pediatric Nurse, has advised pregnant women to desist from unhealthy lifestyles to control pre-mature births.
She said alcoholism, drug abuse, self medication, anemia and malnutrition and life style infections such as diabetes, and hypertension remain leading risk factors contributing to pre-mature births and urged pregnant women to attend regular antenatal clinics.
Mrs Agyeiwaa, who is also a Tutor at the Sunyani Nurses and Midwifery Training College, (NMTC), said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a quiz competition held to commemorate the 2018 World Prematurity Day held in Sunyani.
It was organized by the NMTC for the students pursuing various health related programmes to raise awareness on risk factors contributing to pre-mature births and neonatal deaths, as Ghana joins the world to celebrate the day.
World Prematurity Day, instituted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) falls in November 17, every year and celebrated to raise awareness of preterm births and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide.
Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year accounting for about one in 10 of all babies born worldwide.
The global theme for this year’s celebration is “partnering with the families in the care of small and sick newborns”.
Mrs Agyeiwaa said pre-mature births could be easily controlled if pregnant women eat nutritious food, balanced diet, sleep under treated nets, take folic acid and food supplements as well as eat more fruits and reduce starchy diets.
She also advised couples to plan their pregnancies, managed child birth, possibly between two years intervals, and entreated pregnant women to deliver at health facilities, instead traditional birth attendants.
Mrs Agyeiwaa, a former employee at the Sunyani Municipal Hospital, expressed regret over lack of incubators, monitors and photo-therapy machines at the neonatal unit of the hospital and appealed to the general public to support the facility.
Premature birth, she explained, was very serious health problem as it remained the leading cause of deaths in children under the age of five worldwide.