By: Roberta Gayode Modin
A pediatric specialist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Harry Acquah has demystified some traditional practices perceived to cure jaundice in babies.
He explained neonatal jaundice as the yellowing of the skin and eye as a result of a breakdown in the red blood cells within the first 28 days of a child’s life.
Speaking on the GTV Breakfast Show, Dr. Acquah outlined some age-long practices which are not scientifically proven to cure neonatal jaundice.
“Some people advocate that once you have a child with jaundice, just put a few drops of breast milk in the eye and it’s going clear…there are others who believe that putting a child in sunlight cures jaundice but then, it’s not proven to help anyone. In fact, they have come out worse off”, Dr. Acquah disclosed.
According to a publication by the Paediatric Society of Ghana, written by Dr. Gideon Yawson, over 100,000 late preterm and term babies die each year from complications of neonatal jaundice.
The article also revealed that in some babies, jaundice can be severe enough to long-term neurodevelopmental dysfunction.
Dr. Acquah called on mothers to be proactive in spot-checking for early diagnosis of jaundice to save the child from the long-term effects of jaundice.