Parents have been advised to pay close attention to the size of the heads of their babies and report any abnormality to healthcare givers for swift medical attention.
Abnormal enlargement of the head, according to Ms. Wilhelmina Minnow, a health advocate, was a possible sign of hydrocephalus which when left untreated could be deadly.
Hydrocephalus is a buildup of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain.
The extra fluid puts pressure on the brain and can cause brain damage. This condition is most common in infants and older adults.
Ms. Minnow was speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times yesterday on the dangers of hydrocephalus as the month of September has been set aside to create awareness about the condition.
She stated that apart from the abnormal enlargement of the head, high-pitched cry, developmental delay, cognitive difficulties, and mental delays were also signs that must not be taken for granted.
Explaining, she indicated that the medical condition was a critical one and needed emergency care, adding that wasting time when it comes to seeking solutions for ailments only made sicknesses worse and difficult to treat.
“Hydrocephalus is curable so do not attribute the condition to spirituality because this is a purely medical condition. Save the lives of your children immediately you notice any abnormality in their behaviour or on the body.”
“When an ailment is caught early, curing it becomes very easy and sufferers of the disease will not have to go through too much pain and stress so I encourage all mothers to prioritise the welfare of their children, especially babies,” she advised.
Touching on the life expectancy of babies with hydrocephalus, Ms Minnow, who is also a health practitioner mentioned that children often had a full life span if the ailment is caught early, adding that infants who undergo surgeries to remove the fluid that had built up in their brain and survived to age one would not have a shortened life expectancy due to hydrocephalus.
She also bemoaned that sometimes parents do not deliberately ignore early signs of hydrocephalus but cannot send their wards to the hospital or continue recommended treatments due to financial constraints.
She, therefore, called on the National Health Insurance Authority to consider incorporating treatment of the disease into the scheme to save lives of babies whose parents could not afford treatment for the condition.