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Posts Tagged ‘babies’

China milk powder blamed after babies develop breasts

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2010 at 11:22 am

AFP/file – File picture of a baby holding a drink outside a children’s hospital in Beijing.

BEIJING, Aug 9, 2010 (AFP) – Parents and doctors in central China fear that hormones in milk powder they fed their infant daughters have led the babies to prematurely develop breasts, state media reported Monday.


Medical tests indicated the levels of hormones in three girls, ranging in age from four to 15 months and who were fed the same baby formula, exceeded those of the average adult woman, the China Daily reported.


“The amount of hormones in the babies definitely means there’s a problem,” Yang Qin, the chief physician in the child care department at the Hubei Maternity and Children’s Hospital, was quoted as saying.


“The parents should stop using the formula to feed their children and the powder should be analysed.”


Local food safety authorities however refused a parent’s request to investigate the formula made by Synutra, based in the eastern city of Qingdao, saying they do not conduct tests at consumers’ behest, the report said.


The suspected baby formula was still being sold in the Hubei provincial capital Wuhan — at discounted prices — and was still on store shelves in Beijing despite the concerns which surfaced last month, the Global Times said.


Synutra insisted that its products were safe.


“No man-made ‘hormones’ or any illegal substances were added during production,” it said in a statement.


The infants showed unusually high levels of the hormones estradiol and prolactin, the China Daily said.


Wang Dingmian, the former chairman of the dairy association in the southern province of Guangdong, told the China Daily that the hormones could have entered the food chain when farmers reared the cattle.


“Since a regulation forbidding the use of hormones to cultivate livestock has yet to be drawn up in China, it would be lying to say nobody uses it,” Wang was quoted as saying.


Chinese dairy products were recalled worldwide in 2008 after it was revealed that melamine, which is used to make plastics, was widely and illegally added to the products to give the appearance of higher protein.


Melamine was found in the products of 22 Chinese dairy companies in a massive scandal blamed for the deaths of at least six infants and for sickening 300,000 others in China.

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Source: SGGP

Only 10 percent Vietnamese babies breastfed exclusively during first six months of life

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 7:20 am

Only 10 percent of children in Vietnam are breastfed exclusively during the first six months of life. This situation calls for urgent action to promote breastfeeding, particularly by healthcare providers and communities in Vietnam.

Breastfeeding exclusively during the first six months of life plays an important role in babies and infants’ lives.  


The Ministry of Health, the United Nations and the Alive & Thrive initiative co-organized a press conference to launch World Breastfeeding Week 2010 (WBW) and the “call for action” is just part of WBW.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Ba Thuy stressed breastfeeding is the most complete form of nutrition for infants and small children during the first six months of life, only 10 percent of children in Vietnam are breastfed exclusively during this critical period of their lives and only 55 percent of Vietnamese mothers initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth.

The main reasons cited for delayed initiation of breastfeeding are a belief that mothers’ breast milk production is inadequate; C-section deliveries; separation of mother and child immediately after birth; insufficient counselling from healthcare providers due to busy schedules; and the availability of milk formula.

Research has also found that feeding infants with water after breastfeeding is a popular practice in both urban and rural areas of Vietnam (‘exclusive breastfeeding’ means infants receive no food or drink other than breast milk unless doctor ordered).

Some mothers believe that they lack sufficient breast milk to adequately nourish their children up to six months and often begin to supplement breast milk with formula milk and/or other foods at around four months of age. For those employed in the formal sector (20-30 percent of all mothers), the need to return to work after four months of maternity leave poses a challenge to continued exclusive breastfeeding. Lack of support from family members and health workers is another barrier to mothers exclusively breastfeeding their children.

Themed “Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps, the Baby-Friendly Way,” World Breastfeeding Week this year aims to highlight the vital role that healthcare workers and facilities play in promoting breastfeeding. It calls for every health facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants to provide support to mothers in breastfeeding using the ten steps.


The ten steps to successful breastfeeding were first presented in the 1989 WHO/UNICEF Joint Statement on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding: The Special Role of Maternity Services. Since then UNICEF and WHO have called for the implementation of the ten steps to successful breastfeeding in all maternity facilities because health workers play a critical role in influencing mothers’ decisions on how to feed their infants and young children.

WBW is celebrated in more than 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding as an important way to improve the health and development of infants and young children.


Efforts to encourage better breastfeeding practices in Vietnam are part of a national program on children and mother’s care to help ensure that children grow and reach their full potential. The country’s “Child Survival Action Plan” has set out the goal to achieve a 50 percent exclusive breastfeeding rate across the country by 2015.


The Ministry of Health will work closely with line ministries and mass media outlets to achieve the goal, recognizing that without improving breastfeeding rates and child nutrition would jeopardize attaining the Millennium Development Goals in Vietnam.

Source: SGGP

Around 2,000 newborn Vietnamese babies infected with HIV

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2010 at 10:30 am

There are an estimated 6,000 pregnant women infected with HIV annually in Vietnam, 35 percent of whom are likely to transmit the virus to their newborn babies, according to a recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH).


The National Committee for AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Control, part of MoH,  launched a Month of Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, calling on pregnant women to take HIV tests for their babies’ health on June 2.

Mother can transmit HIV virus during stages of prenancy. Approximately 2,000 newborn kids of infected mothers have contracted the virus from their mothers unless no appropriate interventions must be taken to prevent mother-to-child transmissions

Pregnant women infected with HIV, are on the rise, according to the National Committee for AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Control, saying that approximately 2,000 newborn kids of infected mothers have contracted the virus from their mothers.  Appropriate interventions must be taken to prevent mother-to-child transmissions.


Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong, also Chair of the National Committee for AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Control, instructed agencies to help pregnant mothers access early diagnoses and take timely intervention measures in order to alleviate prenatal HIV transmission.


Services are available at 225 sites across the country, where pregnant women are provided with voluntary HIV tests, antiretroviral drugs to prevent prenatal transmission and powder milk for babies born to HIV-infected mothers.


However, most of HIV-infected mothers in Vietnam are not diagnosed until they have already arrived at health care facilities to deliver their babies, causing difficulty for health workers to give consultation and provide treatment against the transmission of the virus from mothers to children.

Source: SGGP

South Africa expands AIDS treatment for babies, mothers

In World on December 3, 2009 at 2:34 am

South African President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday unveiled a dramatic expansion in treatment for pregnant women and babies with HIV, sealing a turnaround in the AIDS fight in the world’s worst-affected country.


Zuma said that all babies with HIV will receive treatment at public facilities from next April, while women will receive care earlier in their pregnancies in a bid to prevent transmission to newborns.


He also announced that he was preparing to take a HIV test himself, and urged the public to do the same.


His speech cemented a sharp break with past policies, when the previous government of Thabo Mbeki questioned the link between HIV and AIDS and promoted garlic and beetroot instead of medication.


“This decision will contribute significantly towards the reduction of infant mortality over time,” Zuma said in a nationally televised speech to mark World AIDS Day.








A young boy is pictured at a shelter for HIV-infected mothers and their children in Johannesburg on November 25.

An estimated 5.7 million of South Africa’s 48 million people have HIV, including 280,000 children, according to the UN AIDS agency.


Currently anti-retroviral drugs are provided to babies based on how weak their immune system has become.


People with both HIV and tuberculosis will also qualify for expanded treatment, while Zuma said every health facility in the country would be equipped to provide care, which is currently limited to a few centres with special accreditation.


“What does this all mean? It means that we will be treating significantly larger numbers of HIV positive patients. It means that people will live longer and more fulfilling lives,” Zuma said.


“It does not mean that people should not use condoms consistently and correctly during every sexual encounter,” he added.


Speaking with a candor rarely seen among African leaders, Zuma also said that he would receive an HIV test.


“I am making arrangements for my own test. I have taken HIV tests before, and I know my status. I will do another test soon,” he said. “I urge you to start planning for your own tests.”


The tone marks a dramatic change for Zuma himself, who in 2006 said that he had showered to wash away the risk of AIDS after having sex with an HIV-positive woman. At the time, he was head of the National AIDS Council.


The new drive aims to meet the government’s goal of halving the number of new infections by 2011 while providing treatment to 80 percent of the people who need it.


Health ministry spokesman Fidel Radebe said the government did not yet have an estimate of how many people would benefit from the new measures, or for how much the expanded treatment would cost.


South Africa runs the world’s largest anti-retroviral programme, but under the existing scheme nearly one million people are still believed to need treatment.


The United States announced that it would provide South Africa with an additional 120 million dollars to buy more drugs over the next two years, in response to a request by Zuma.


Under Mbeki and his health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, South Africa became an international pariah for defying scientific evidence and stalling the roll-out of anti-retroviral drugs.

A recent Harvard study found that 365,000 people died prematurely because of the delay.

Since Zuma took office in May, he has made repeated public statements about the need to fight the disease — in stark contrast to Mbeki’s silence.

The disease has already taken a staggering toll on South Africa.

An estimated 1.5 million children have been orphaned by AIDS. A new study released last month found that by 2015, that number could rise to 5.7 million — or one-third of the nation’s children.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share