Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...

Mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...

Colic

Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...

Strap-in-the-Future

The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

Immunisation

Everything you need to know in order to call the SHOTS!

baby_needle_copyImmunisation has many positive effects:

  • It saves lives
  • It prevents the spread of disease
  • It is safe
  • It saves money – prevention is better than cure

With immunisation it is possible to induce an immune response without causing illness.

How vaccination works

The primary purpose of the immune system’s infection-fighting cells is to identify antigens. Antigens are substances that are foreign to the body, including microorganisms such as bacteria
and viruses. When the immune system identifies antigens invading the body, it goes to work to defend the body against those antigens. This defence is called ‘the immune response.’

Antibody production is part of the immune response. Antibodies are protein molecules that help infection-fighting cells to recognise and bind with antigens. When antibodies on the infection-fighting cells bind with antigens on the microorganism, the infection-fighting cells help kill the microorganism.

A vaccination introduces an antigen into the body. The body builds up specific antibodies to the bacteria or virus. The body will then be immune to those specific antigens in the future.

Did you know . . .?

  • Vaccines are free of charge at local clinics and community health centres in South Africa.
  • There are also a variety of Wellness Baby Clinics operating from pharmacies and private hospitals.
  • All children have a right to basic health care. Immunisation is one of the health care components.
  • The government of South Africa currently (2010) spends more than R80 million on vaccines.
  • Only when a disease has been completely eradicated worldwide can immunisation be safely discontinued.

The government table of vaccinations differs slightly to the private sector immunisation schedule (see below). The private sector has added a few more vaccinations: one for Hepatitis A, Chickenpox and the MMR vaccine. Your health care provider will be able to offer you further guidance.

Baby may be immunised if:

  • Baby is not on cortisone
  • There is no history of convulsions
  • Baby has not been ill in the past month
  • Has not had immuno-globulin in the past 3 months
  • Has not had a fever within the past 48 hours

When immunising baby:

  • You can distract baby by breastfeeding him/her
  • Or else you can hold and cuddle baby
  • Paracetamol syrup can be administered every 4-6 hours after the shot/s
  • Give baby extra love and attention and expect baby to be a bit more niggly than usual

Possible side-effects include:

  • Redness and swelling at the injection site
  • A lump may form at the injection site. For a day it will be sore if touched. The lump may remain for up to a month. You may rub Arnica Cream onto the site
  • Your baby may have a slight temperature. This is common and can be treated if necessary
  • Most symptoms last for 24 hours
  • Call your doctor if your child cries uncontrollably in a high-pitched voice
  • The measles and MMR vaccine have a reaction only a week to 10 days after the vaccine. A fine rash may appear and baby could have a high temperature

The cervical cancer vaccine
Cervical cancer most often affects women during their reproductive years. This cancer robs some women of the ability to bear children and threatens the lives of young mothers.

You may not know anyone who has had cervical cancer, but almost every adult woman knows someone who has been treated for Pap test abnormalities. That is because HPV infection is so common. It is fortunate that a Pap test can help find early cervical changes when they are treatable.

The cervical cancer vaccine (also called the Human Papillomavirus or HPV vaccine) takes prevention a giant leap forward by blocking the first step along the pathway to cervical cancer, HPV infection. Vaccination plus regular Pap tests provide the best protection against developing cervical cancer.

Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women. The cervical cancer vaccine can save lives, and prevent the fear and the costs related to cervical cancer and abnormal Pap tests.

HPV is a family of very common viruses that cause almost all cervical cancers, plus a variety of other problems like common warts, genital warts and plantar warts. There are over 35 known different HPV types that infect the genital tract and at least 15 of these can lead to cervical cancer. HPV also causes cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, and cancers of the head and neck. Women and men become infected with HPV types that cause cervical cancer through sexual intercourse and sexual contact. Most women will be exposed to HPV during their lifetime.

Regular Pap screening beginning at age 21 or within 3 years of the beginning of sexual activity can detect problems related to HPV infection before cancer develops. And now a new vaccine can provide protection against the HPV virus types that cause 70% of cervical cancer.

If you never get exposed to HPV, you’ll be at extremely low risk for cervical cancer. But the only sure protection from HPV is lifelong abstinence. Regular condom use can also help prevent spread of HPV infection.

Routine vaccination is recommended for all 11 and 12-year-old girls. Ideally, females should get the vaccine before they become sexually active. This is because the vaccine is most effective in girls/women who have not yet been exposed to the types of HPV covered by the vaccine. Girls/women who have not been exposed or infected with these types get the full benefit of the vaccine.

The vaccine is given in the arm or thigh 3 times: at the first visit, 2 months later and 4 months after that. The best protection is achieved after all 3 shots have been given. It is not known at this time whether booster shots will be needed later.

The studies show that the vaccine is extremely safe; it contains no live viruses. The most common side-effects are redness and soreness where the shot was given. Headaches (such as when you have a cold or fever) are also common. Fever can also occur. Over-the-counter pain and fever medications will help if you have symptoms. As with any new medication, safety issues will continue to be monitored.

For a downloadable immunisation schedule Immunisation Chart 0-12 Months.