Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Doctors Say Premature Babies Are Not Deficient

Dr Lois Obiekezie, a paediatrician in Alaba Ojo, Lagos State said yesterday that premature babies are not medically disadvantaged.

Obiekezie told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that premature babies are only under-weight with weights ranging between 0. 9kg to 1.5 kg.

She said the lungs of the babies are tender and they have difficulty in breathing.

"Because of the tender nature of the respiratory system, immediately they are born, we put them inside an incubator to preserve them.

"They are also prone to infections at this stage and so are treated with the highest level of hygiene.

"Breast milk is extracted from the mother and administered to the child, who even finds it difficult to eat appropriately.

"It is not advisable to bath them with water at this stage, rather, olive oil is used to clean up their body," the doctor said.

She said that the fact that a child is born premature does not in any way restrict the child's performance or put him in a disadvantaged position.

"Surprisingly, most of these children are very active and intelligent against the negative conceptions of some individuals.

"Research has shown that more than 60 per cent of them develop rapid growth and excell well in life," Obiekezie said.

NAN

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