Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses, the Deputy Director of the Family Health Division of the Ghana Health Service, said Ghana recorded 10,684 jaundice cases in newborns nationwide in 2020.
She said newborn jaundice was a disease that normally occurred when the colour of the skin and eyes of the baby began to look yellowish within the first 28 days of birth.
Dr Sagoe-Moses disclosed this during a virtual national launch of Newborn Jaundice Awareness Month 2021, organised by the Paediatric Society of Ghana.
It was on the theme: “Early initiation of breastfeeding keeps the yellow away,” and sought to increase nationwide awareness on preventing the disease.
Dr Sagoe-Moses cited germs in the body, blood group differences between mother and baby, camphor use in babies with a condition of the blood known as Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), dehydration from poor feeding, abnormal blood cell, bruising at birth and liver diseases as some of the common causes of newborn jaundice.
She the awareness of newborn jaundice should be improved, especially in rural areas, to save the lives of babies.
She called on the Government and other stakeholders to enhance the capacities of Paediatricians and provide them with the necessary health equipment to boost their healthcare service delivery.
Dr Sagoe-Moses urged health workers to be baby-friendly and deepen the education on ensuring nursing mothers healthily breastfed their babies to accelerate growth.
Dr Alhassan Abdul-Mumin, the Head of Paediatric and Child Health Department at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, advised parents to be more concerned about the health of their babies by monitoring their development to ensure they were free from diseases.
He urged them to visit the nearest health facility for assessment immediately they realised the baby was unwell.
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