Trust Hospital outdoors ‘WellBaby’ service
The Trust Mother and Child Hospital has introduced a new service dubbed: ‘WellBaby’ to help early detection of diseases and potentially fatal disorders as well as the prevention of their complications in new-born babies.
According to Dr. Fredrick Boahene, Head of Pediatrics at the Trust Mother and Child Hospital, the idea behind the service it to introduce to mothers, a baby record book entitled ‘My First Year Story Book’, which is to help parents monitor the various developmental stages of their babies two weeks after childbirth.
The book will also track the daily progress of babies’ growth in order to detect early, any signs of disorderliness in the newborns.
“Experience in this practice has taught us that over the period, there have been things that most of our kids in our parts of this world are being denied. Things such as sickle cells are still not part of most Ghanaians.
Going for a sickling test and coming with a negative result for sickle cell is not enough, proper screening must be done in order to make sure the baby is not an AC, or CC. With something like this, the HB electrophoresis is needed and therefore this book will lead the mothers to us and we will conduct intensive tests on the babies. This prevents certain illnesses that they should have been screened for, before attaining a certain age, from manifesting,” he said.
With the introduction of the WellBaby, babies will be screened for certain harmful or potentially fatal disorders that aren't otherwise apparent at birth.
Although most conditions are rare, Dr. Boahene said, early diagnosis and proper treatment can make the difference between lifelong impairment and a healthy baby’s development.
Dr. Boahene threw more light on the processes involved in the screening exercise. “The screening is done when the baby is two weeks old and involves laboratory investigation. With a very small and simple blood sample taken from the sole of the foot of the baby, the laboratory investigation is done.
With the hearing, from the first day babies are born, they start learning by listening and interacting with the sounds and voices around them. Hearing screening tests Otoacoustics Emissions (OAEs) is a non-invasive test for hearing defects in new born babies and children who are too young to be cooperative during other hearing assessment methods. The test is easy and painless,” he said.
“The new born baby may have eye problem such as cataract, strabismus (lazy eyes), ptosis (dropping of eyelids), corneal scar and glaucoma that can lead to irreversible visual impairment in later life if not detected and treated early.
Visual impairment in children can affect their school performance. Pre-term babies can also develop retinal problems that can result in blindness if not detected early. The screening includes the examination of the eye of the baby by ophthalmologist (eye specialist) to detect these problems early and the appropriate treatment provided to prevent visual impairment, he added.