Importance of Childhood vaccinations

Frederick Douglass” It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”

Today’s discussion will seek to address the topic of childhood vaccine preventable diseases. I decided to have this discussion today as I read an article where there are some countries that were deciding not to have children vaccinated as a result of the pandemic. There are people around the world that does not think it is important to have children vaccinated. However, In my opinion from a review of the general public health I think it is a wise idea to have your child or children vaccinated once there isn’t any contraindication. As being immunized will help to prevent spread of diseases to the general populace.

Prior to the introduction of vaccines, millions of children died or suffered long term infirmities from disease such as diphtheria, measles, polio, tetanus, meningitis and pertussis. Most of these diseases are extremely transmissible, spreading rapidly through populaces, with often devastating consequences. Immunization programmes benefit each vaccinated child and they stop the transmission of disease to others.

According to UNICEF In 2018 , 116 million children were vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DPT) yet millions of children are still not reached by potentially life saving vaccines. Immunization is one of the most cost effective public health interventions which prevents an estimated 2-3 million deaths every year. As a direct result of immunization the various countries worldwide is closer to eradicating polio, with only three remaining polio endemic countries( Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan). Deaths from measles, which is responsible for most childhood deaths has shown a decline by 80% worldwide between 2000-2017 preventing an estimated 21.1 million deaths. And as of March 2019 only 13 countries have eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus, a disease with a fatality rate of 70-100 per cent among newborn(UNICEF, 2019).

Vaccination is a significant method to safeguard infants wellbeing. Vaccinations can inhibit the spread of serious diseases which are covered by vaccination. Failure to vaccinate may mean putting children at risk for severe and sometimes deadly diseases. Infants are particularly susceptible to infections; that is why it is so imperative to safeguard them with immunization. Immunization help prevent the spread of disease and protect infants and toddlers against dangerous complications. Adults can also be immunized against these dangerous diseases if they have not been duly immunized ,make an appointment at your doctor’s office or visit your nearest health center. Speak to your community health nurse/ public health nurse and take you and/ your child/ren immunization card or book to keep your records updated.

Some common vaccine preventable diseases are ;

  1. Diphtheria
  2. Pertussis(whooping cough)
  3. Tetanus(lockjaw)
  4. Hepatitis A
  5. Hepatitis B
  6. Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
  7. HPV
  8. Measles
  9. Mumps
  10. Rubella(German measles)
  11. Rotavirus
  12. Chicken pox(varicella )
  13. Tuberculosis
  14. Polio

Vaccine trivia did you know The world’s first vaccine, Dr. Edward Jenner’s smallpox vaccine, was actually made from cowpox virus. Jenner called the process “vaccination” from vacca, a Latin word for cow. Do you have any information to add ? please place them in the comment section below , like ,share and follow to kept updated.

Children and the pandemic

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb a reward.

During this pandemic with individuals working from home, children being home schooled and displacement from our normal way of living. We as adults feel frustrated, sad, bored you name the emotions we may experience it. Now can you imagine children during this time? Yes they too are feeling these emotions and some may not be able to communicate their feelings and be labelled as “acting out” by the adults who observe these behaviours.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization[UNESCO], 2020 an estimated 1.38 billion children are not in school or child care and are without access to group activities, team sports and play ground facilities. The evidence further suggest that children are at risk for violence and vulnerability which usually leads to health emergencies and all this has shown increases during the period of time when they are away from school. Long term school closure and home confinement during the pandemic also have negative effects on children’s physical and mental health(Brazendale et al., 2020). Children who are out of school are less physically active, are exposed to longer screen time, less favourable diets which will result in weight gain; as they will snack on unhealthy options which maybe more affordable than the healthier options, which is available for families who maybe experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic.

These children educational growth has been affected as a result of the pandemic as not all families are able to afford internet connection or to buy data or service to review school work which has been modified to online mode of delivery. Evidence also revealed that two thirds of the countries world wide have introduced learning through an online platform; only 30 % of low income countries have been able to provide this platform for the children(UNESCO,2020).

“Children hold our hands for a while, but our hearts forever”

Children react differently during stressful situations this maybe exhibited through becoming withdrawn, more clingy, anxious, angry, agitated and they may regress to bedwetting. At this time parents or caregivers need to be more attentive to the children under their care. As it will be a sign of support and will help them to deal with the stress they are experiencing. Also incorporating activities that can improve family interaction and enhance the well being of the children and family members will prove useful. Having open communication with the children is important in identifying physical and psychological issues as well as comfort. Children who are constantly exposed to news regarding pandemic can add to the distress, engaging them in conversations about the pandemic can lessen their anxiety and avoid panic. Engagement in outdoor activity once the space allows such as running, playing with them or starting an exercise routine with the family to improve the family bond. Talking about feelings to alleviate distress and working as a family to find solutions, teaching children new skills(e.g. cooking or baking) or having them assisting, backyard gardening, family movie night.

Parents/caregivers will need to incorporate appropriate means of managing negative behaviours (time out, taking away toys/games which is valuable to them and if there are teenagers taking away the gadgets and alone time and removing allowances should help to prevent a reoccurrence of any negative behaviours. These disciplinary measures also needs to remain constant, rewards for good behaviours, praising children for achievement. Adults also need to ensure children’s safety while on the internet and monitoring programs being watched to ensure they are appropriately rated and they are free from any possible harm while using the internet.

If there are any challenges which can not be handled by the parents/ caregivers there is always professional help which can be sought to help the family to cope. Are there any other strategies which you have utilized which has proven useful? share it with me in the comment section; remember to like, share and follow to receive new updates.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it

Fathers and maternity care

When we think of maternity care or the time of pregnancy and delivery the focus usually is on the pregnant woman or the woman post delivery and the baby and very little thought is given to the fathers; who i must say plays a very important role in the lives of the woman, the unborn fetus and the children as they grow.

In the past birth usually takes place in the home and it was typically dominated by females( the midwives, family members and friends who would take part) this would help to build family bond as the individuals in attendance would provide support for the woman in labour as well as post delivery. The men/fathers/ fathers to be would either sit around awaiting news of the birth of the child/ren or they would go out to work as they were the breadwinners for the family and await the news of the expected birth. They were not directly engaged in the care of the women and their focus was providing for their family. Father were not given leave to be home to bond with the baby nor be able to help his partner post delivery.

Since recent times there has been a call for gender equality in relation to family and community life, and to encourage and enable men to take responsibility for their sexual and reproductive behaviour as well as their social and family roles ( United Nations Population Fund, 2014). A study conducted by Adamsons & Johnson, 2013 revealed that involved dads improve their children’s overall emotional and social well-being. Which further strengthens the need for the engagement of fathers in all aspect of family life. There has since been adjustments to work place policy regarding paternity leave to allow men to provide support to their partner once the baby is born. There has also been adjustments to allow men access to delivery suite to provide support for their partner during delivery. However, there are some institutions that do not allow men access to delivery room to provide the much needed support for their partners. The practice will vary for countries and institutions globally.

According to the US Census Bureau, 2018 19.5 million children (more than 1 in 4) live without a father in the home. Evidence also suggest that homes where fathers are absent leads to 47% of children living in poverty, men with absent fathers are more likely to become absent fathers. If this continues there will be a perpetuating cycle which will continue to affect the communities and society at large. We must continue to empower the men in our families, our friends to stand in their role as fathers even if they do not live at home with their children, celebrate the fathers for the contributions they make , encourage the fathers to take parenting classes if there is a need, attend clinics with their partners(either maternity clinics appointments or child health appointments). Let us encourage the fathers, let me hear your views on this topic place them in the comment section, like share and follow for more discussions on various topics.

Women’s Reproductive Health Issues # 2

This post is a continuation of the common women’s reproductive health concern. Cancers are prevalent in our society today and it can also affect women in specific way and they are categorized as Gynaecologic cancer. This is any cancer that starts in a woman’s reproductive organs which are listed below;

  • Vaginal cancers
  • Vulvar Cancers (outer part of the vagina)
  • Uterine Cancer( cancer in the womb)
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer(cancer of the cervix)

Human Immunodeficiency Virus(HIV)

HIV affects specific cells of the immune system (called CD4 cells) and is contracted from engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse. HIV is the virus that can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome(AIDS).AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection, when an individual’s immune system is severely damaged. HIV infection can also occur in pregnant women and as such all pregnant women are tested to determine their HIV status. If the woman blood results are positive she will be given treatment which will minimize the risk of transmission to the fetus while in utero.

Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic bladder condition which results in recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder or surrounding pelvic region. People with IC usually have inflamed or irritated bladder walls that can cause scarring and stiffening of the bladder. IC can affect anyone; however, it is more common in women than men. Some individuals may experience some or none of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling of abdominal or pelvic pressure
  • Abdominal or pelvic mild discomfort
  • A feeling of urgency to urinate
  • Tenderness
  • Intense pain in the bladder or pelvic region
  • Severe lower abdominal pain that intensifies as the urinary bladder fills or empties

The other issue that affects women is Intimate partner violence (IPV)

Intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms
of violence against women and includes physical, sexual, and
emotional abuse and controlling behaviours by an intimate partner.
IPV occurs in all settings and among all socioeconomic, religious and cultural groups. The overwhelming global burden of IPV is borne by women.
Although women can be violent in relationships with men, often in self-defense,
the most common perpetrators of violence against women are male intimate partners or ex-partners . By contrast, men are far more likely to experience violent acts by strangers or acquaintances than by someone close to them. If there are any of the issues discussed that you or your loved one is experiencing please visit your doctor. Is there any concern you would like to be addressed? please feel free to send a comment , like and follow this blog to be updated.

” A healthy outside start from a healthy inside” Robert Urich

Reproductive Health Concern for women part 1

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver” Mahatma Gandhi

Today’s discussion will seek to address some common health issues affecting women. And these may some times affect their fertility as well. If there is any concern regarding any of the health issues please speak to a gynaecologist who will provide assistance to address these challenges.

Endometriosis affects approximately 1 in 10 women globally during their reproductive years(15-49). This is 176 million women worldwide. This condition usually affects the uterus(womb). Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows somewhere else; it can grow on the ovaries, behind the uterus, on the bowels or on the bladder. It rarely grows in other parts of the body(Centres for Disease Control[CDC], 2018).

Uterine Fibroids affects 20-80 percent of women by the time they are 50 years old. Fibroids are common in women in their 40s and early 50s . Uterine fibroids are the most common non cancerous tumors. Fibroids are made of muscle cells and other tissues that grow in and around the wall of the uterus. The cause is unknown, risk factors include African-American ethnicity , overweight. Symptoms of fibroids include; heavy or painful periods or bleeding, between periods, feeling “full” in the lower abdomen, urinating often, pain during sex, lower back pain , infertility and multiple miscarriages(CDC, 2018).

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS) has affected approximately 116 million women(3.4%) globally. PCOS is one of the most common cause of female infertility. PCOS occurs when a woman’s ovaries or adrenal gland produce more male hormones than normal. As a result of this cysts (fluid filled sac) develop on the ovaries. Obese women are more at risk for PCOS. Women with PCOS are at increased risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Symptoms include; infertility, pelvic pain, excess hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, thumbs or toes, baldness or thinning hair, acne, oily skin or dandruff, patches of thickened dark brown or black skin(CDC, 2018). If a couple is trying to conceive and the woman is experiencing any of the above condition this could be a possible cause. But its important to seek medical intervention to address the conditions mentioned. There are several others to discuss but that will be in the next blog post… If you have any concern or would like to ask questions please leave a comment in the box and we will have a discussion.

“You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated” Dr. Maya Angelou

#International Nurses Day

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” Mahatma Ghandi

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12. This date is the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. The day is set aside to honour and acknowledge the many contributions nurses make to society.

Florence Nightingale is the founder of nursing she is famous for her work in the crimean war where she cared for wounded and sick soldiers. She also nursed them during the night and became known as the lady with the lamp. She and nurses saved many lives as she had an important principle ;such as nurses washing their hands and keeping hospitals clean. As she was driven by a mandate that the hospital should do the sick no harm. Florence is remembered for making changes to nursing and showing people that nursing was a very important job.

Nurses out there do the work you do with pride to serve the people whose lives you impact daily. Be mentors to the young nurses, new graduants, to the nurses in training. Nurses you are an important member of the health care team. Playing cruical role in health promotion, disease prevention and treatment.

As we celebrate your work we pray God’s blessings as you “nurse the world to health” during this time. Keep safe we appreciate the sacrifice of you make daily. Leaving your families to take care of those in your care.

” To do what nobody else will do, a way that nobody else can do, inspite of all we go through that is to be a Nurse” Rawsi Williams

Maternal

Today’s discussion will seek to explain the various terms linked with maternity with the intent of gaining insight.

The discussion will start with the word maternal. The word maternal as defined by The World Health Organization(WHO), 2019 refers to mother, especially during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth. On other occasion the term maternal instinct is also used. This refers to the natural tendency that a mother has to behave or react in a specific way around her child or her children.

Sometimes in maternity care there is the death of a mother which is not a very pleasant time. Neither for the staff in attendance nor the family members of the deceased individual. Maternal death is the death of a woman while pregnant or within one year of the end of a pregnancy. Regardless of the outcome, duration or site of the pregnancy from any cause associated to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020[CDC]).

Maternal death occur in areas of the world where inequalities in access to quality health services exists and it highlights the gap between those who can and cant afford health care. Something we sometimes take for granted.

The risk for maternal mortality is highest for adolescent girls under 15 years old. Women in less developed countries have more pregnancies than women in developed countries. And their lifetime risk of death due to pregnancy in higher when compared to those in higher income countries.

In high income countries the maternal mortality rate is 1 in 5,400 while in low income countires the rate is 1 in 45.

Looking at the global perspective as it relates to maternal mortality ;every day , approximately 810 women died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. This figure is still too high as countries strive to achieve the Sustainable Developmemt Goal #3 which address health and acces to health services for all. Some of the major complications that account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths are; severe bleeding which mostly occur post delivery, infections which also occur post delivery, high blood pressure during pregnancy( pre eclampsia and eclampsia, complications from delivery and unsafe abortions (WHO, 2019).

94% of all maternal death occurs in low and middle income countries. Sub Saharan Africa and Southern Asia accounted for 86% (254,000) of the estimated global maternal deaths.

The countries most impacted by the high rate of maternal mortality are the countries with limited resources; that is material resources and human resources. How can the prevenable maternal death be prevented in these countries? Or what strategies can be utilized to minimize this occurence in the major countries affected?

Let me hear your thoughts on this matter in the comment section below. Lets start some more discussion.

“Nine months preparing to fall in love for a lifetime”

Maternity Care Defined

“The simple act of caring is heroic”

You may be wondering what is maternity care? Maternity care is care given to a pregnant woman during her pregnancy, during labour/delivery and after she has had her baby. The care is given by obstetricians/gynaecologist (doctors who have specialized in women’s health and gives care to the woman during and after pregnancy) and midwives other members of the health care team also gives support to the primary care givers.

Staff providing care for pregnant women are guided by the code of ethics and midwives act. Respectful care which should be provided is defined by World Health Organization(WHO) , 2018 as “care organized for and provided to all women in a manner that maintains their dignity, privacy, and confidentiality, ensures freedom from harm and mistreatment, and enables informed choice and continious support during labour and childbirth”

When giving care to persons you may come across do it from the heart. You can never be paid enough for caring… no price for care care from the heart.

Do you have any questions ? Send them to me and we will have a discussion

“The littlest feet make the biggest footprints in our hearts”

Year of the Nurse and Midwife withstanding the test of the time

The therapeutic touch

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated this year 2020 the year of the nurse and midwife. This step will help to highlight the challenges faced by nurses and midwives globally.

The world needs 9 million nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030 according to WHO,2020.

This year started off with a bang as these health care professionals are actively engaged in a test of the skill set as it relates to infection control principles.

The pandemic is also testing the health care system to identify the strengths and weaknesses to possibly lead to improvement work being undertaken by the governments of various countries worldwide.

Nurses and midwives working in unindustrialized countries will experience a greater challenge as these countires are very short staffed, nurses are experiencing burnout from the staff shortage, under payed and they maybe demotivated and there is a lack of appropriate remuneration package and benefits for work that these champions perform.

The question is can we ever pay nurses/midwives enough for the work they do?

When your loved one is hospitalized and in need of a bed bath along with two hourly turning? A dressing change for a wound which you wouldn’t even think about changing or cant manage the sight presented from the wound… That patient with an infectious disease who needs care even more during the infectious period. When the nurses go the extra mile to perform that chest compressiom for a patient who has had a cardiac arrest ? Skipping lunch and avoid using the rest room to ensure the patient has had lunch and his record is updated or he has the procedure that is vital to rule out any other possibilities. Even working after the shift ends to provide that request made by the patient in their care.

No they can never be paid enough, but they can be compensated adequately so they can meet their daily living expenses, and even afford to live somewhere safe.

Who will care for the care givers? Who will lobby on their behalf ? This year 2020 the nurses and the other members of the health team are being brave, are coming out when the world is on lock down to deliver care during these challenging time. They go out to do contact tracing which is of great importance as well to help stem the futher spread of this pandemic.

We must say thanks to the care givers who leave their family to take care of ours. Who give of themself to meet the health care need of the countries and people they serve. We salute you health care team. We pay homage to you. Continue to love what you do and you will be rewarded.

Let me hear from you do you agree or disagree ?

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”

#Discover prompt/ Song

Today i am to write about song. I am here thinking what can i write… a childhood song” on my own by Patti Labelle and Michael Mcdonald” Reflecting on this time i heard the song i was nearing my teenage year over my neighbour’s house playing.

That song was being played while playing outside. My thoughts on the song was it being a sad song. I didnt know the words, just heard the first line… “im on my own why did it have to end this way, it wasnt how it was suppose to be.”

To top it all off during my play time i heard a loud explosion outside as the house was located near the street.

Upon my arrival at the fence i saw my neighbour’s son being thrown into the air after being hit from his motor bike being propelled into a tree , a very tall tree. Hitting the branches on his way up and down.

This made me feel even more sad as i listened to the song and watched the scene that unfolded.

Each time i hear the song i remember that time, never the same way. So i dont listen to that song anymore. I cant remember the year but i remember the tragic circumstances. This has alway left a mark in my memory each time i hear the song.

I am processing in my head if i should actually publish this as i wonder about it. Is it worth reading? Or is it worth sharing? But this is a challenge i am considering.

I am singing a song which should brighten my day… “My soul will sing” Travis Green. I would sing that song with him in a live concert.

This is my take on the challenge discover prompt / song. Let me hear what you think of it in the comment section..

Continue reading “#Discover prompt/ Song”
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