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11.11.2004 Regional News

Pregnant women cautioned against self-medication

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Kumasi, Nov 11, GNA - Expectant women in the first three months of pregnancy have been cautioned against self-medication since it has been identified as a common cause of children born with malformation. It is very dangerous for them to take enemas, herbal concoctions or even orthodox medicines that have not been prescribed by competent medical practitioners.

Dr Ken E.K. Aboah, Consultant Urologist of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), who gave the warning, said the first three months of pregnancy was crucial to the development of the foetus. He said since the foetus formed important structures, the ingestion of drugs, some of which could react to the formation should be avoided.

Dr Aboah was speaking to the GNA in an interview in Kumasi after the International Volunteers on Urology presented two-surgery equipment to the KATH.

Four members of the group had successfully performed reconstructive surgery on 25 children born with defects on their genitals.

Dr Aboah said though if detected early, some of the deficiencies could be corrected, it was better for women to take pre-cautionary measures against their children contracting genital diseases. He mentioned hypnopaedia, epispadia, extrophy of the bladder, posterior urethral valves, all problems relating to the urethra with some causing urinary retention and hermaphrodite (intersex) and undescended testis.

Dr Aboah said other causes of such disorders include family history, women who grow very old before getting pregnant for the first time giving birth to too many children. The GNA asked Dr Aboah whether these defects if reconstructed would not affect the virility, erection or fertility of affected children especially males.

He said everything in that regard was normal after the operation except when affected children were allowed to grow too old before they are made to seek medical attention or with cases relating to urethra and bladder.

"Most of these problems can be corrected when the child is one year anytime beyond is quite uncertain."

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