Pediatricians are being encouraged to join the government's fight against jaundice in newborn babies


Dr Hilda Mantebea Boye, Vice President of the Ghana Paediatric Society, has urged pediatricians to join the government's battle against jaundice in newborn babies. 

According to her, paediatricians must play a key role in ensuring that no baby in the country suffers from preventable disability or death due to newborn jaundice.

Dr. Boye made the remarks during a virtual launch of the Paediatric Society of Ghana's National Newborn Jaundice Awareness Month 2021, which has the theme "Early initiation of breastfeeding keeps the yellow away." 

The aim of the program was to raise national awareness about how to avoid newborn jaundice-related disability and death in babies.

Dr. Boye urged the government and other health-care stakeholders to put in place effective measures to enhance the quality of laboratory services in health-care facilities, allowing for accurate disease diagnosis. 

She urged authorities to provide health facilities with modern phototherapy equipment in order to improve service delivery and eliminate newborn jaundice in Ghana.

She encouraged health workers to improve their skills in order to improve their ability to save babies from the disease, and she suggested that the public be educated about how to avoid newborn jaundice.

“Parents should take the child into bright light at least two times a day, well-spaced between six and eight hours after birth to check for odd yellow color of baby's eyes and or skin, also check if baby's stool color is pale with little to no yellow (like the white clay sold in the market),” said Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses, Deputy Director, Family Health Division, Ghana Health Service (GHS).

She urged breastfeeding mothers to pay close attention to their babies' poor eating, abnormal moaning, fever, and lack of physical activity. 

Dr. Sagoe-Moses advised mothers to take their babies to the nearest health facility for evaluation as soon as they see certain symptoms in their babies.