Monday, December 6, 2021

    What Pregnant Women needs to know about Neonatal Tuberculosis

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    Bisola Akinlabi
    Akinlabi Bisola is a health and meds journalist with a deep background in Public Health Education and with a B.Sc in Health Education and Masters in Public Health Educator. You can catch up on her articles on her website

    After pregnancy comes delivery, the delivery process process can be so overwhelming for some mothers that the forget how important immediate vaccination for the newborn is especially if the baby is delivered on days the vaccination is not given at the hospital of birth. Nevertheless, on getting home a mother should have adequate information about the vaccination days at health centre close by if she can’t go back to the hospital she delivered for reasons best known to her so the child can be given the first vaccination which is the BCG Vaccine.
    Baclcille Calmette Guerin Vaccine popular called BCG Vaccine is a vaccine primarily used to immunize newborns again TUBERCULOSIS, it is normally given along side Oral Polio Vaccine( OPV) and Hepatitis B Vaccine(HBV) which is in line with the National Childhood Immunization Program. This vaccine is given under the skin at the upper arm of the left hand few weeks after it is given, there is swelling at the site of the vaccination which later burst and form a scar. Every mother or categiver should be aware of the proper way of taking care of the site so as not to cause further problem for the child.

    Why is BCG Vaccine Given?
    Tuberculosis also known as TB, is a serious disease and a global one at that with increase in concern with growing morbidity and mortality, it is caused by a bacteria known as Mycobacteria Tuberculosis, it is an airborne diseases which could spread from droplets from coughing sneezing and even singing. It normally affect the longs but can also damage other parts of the body like glands, bones, joints, kidney, brain and reproductive organ depending on the severity and how early it is being notices and treated. According to the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, Nigeria is ranked seventh among 30 high burden TB countries and second in Africa. It is estimated that 407,000 people in Nigeria have TB each year. Neonates are infants between the ages of 1- 28 days and their immune system so not well developed hence it could be compromised if proper care is not taken, a neonate infected with Tuberculosis could be life threatening when compared to adult or older children and am sure no parent or care giver would wish their child go through such. It is estimated that 30,000 children get TB in Nigeria each year despite available vaccines and treatment.

    What Should Be Done If Your Newborn Is Not Immunizedoing Yet.
    On getting home after delivery, a lot of people would come to visit and these people could be among those estimated 407,000 people that are infected with TB some could even be infected and they won’t know as non identification of case patients is one of the hurdle Nigeria is having in battling TB, according to Prof Isaac Adewole “There are lots of missing TB cases that were either not diagnosed or reported” so please mothers and care givers let’s be careful if you know your child have not been immunized, when people come for congratulatory visit just tell them the baby is sleeping do not allow anyone touch or even come close to the baby except if you can certify that such person is TB free and ensure you vaccinate as early as possible and if you can do so before leaving the hospital good for you. Remember that if your child gets infected you will be the only one running around and seeing your child go through pain as a result of the infection which could have been prevented easily will place a great guilt on you and belief me it will affect you personally in all reification physically, Mentally, emotionally, financially and social and I can bet nobody want such feeling. Let people say whatever that they were not allowed to carry the baby or even come close the talk is better for you only if you know. Don’t let your Mother -in-law or even your mum or whoever is assisting cajole you into compromising, please do not agree because your newborns wellbeing should come first.

    How To Care For The Site Of Vaccination
    1. Do not massage with ointment, oils or herbs
    2. On swelling, do not forcefully burst or press the site.
    3. Do not scratch or squeeze the site
    4. When the pus comes out , keep the site clean and dry
    5 . You can cover the scar with gauze bit not sticking plaster.
    As a mother or care giver, when you notice pus at the site just clean with cotton wool and dispose properly by putting the cotton wool in a nylon and disposing it and do not give to children to dispose for you do not yourself to ensure proper disposal . Also, ensure you wash your hand and bedsheet the baby was on with soap and disinfectant so as to completely get rid of the bacteria.

    Signs and Symptoms of Tuberculosis In Infants
    * Coughs
    * Reduced playfulness
    * Weight loss or failure to thrive
    * Fever
    * Night sweat.
    Seek for immediate medical attention if you notice any of these symptoms preferably a paediatrician.

    Parents, let’s always be vigilant about the health status of those that spend time with our children as there are a lot of unmentionable disease out there even some infected person might not know they have contacted, this will save us and a child lots of stress and also ensure you complete the Immunization process and vaccinate at the appointed time, don’t worry even if you relocate the Immunization card is a National card which means it can be presented for vaccination any where in Nigeria just ensure you keep your child’s card as it is the only evidence to show he or she have been immunized and it also state the vaccines that have been taken.

    Do not comprise the health and wellbeing of your child!

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