Malnutrition in mothers causes heart diseases among babies

Karachi: Consultant Plastic Surgeon Dr Ehmer-al-Ibran on Thursday said cousin marriages and malnutrition of mothers are causing diseases like cleft lips, cleft palates and congenial heart diseases in newborn babies in society.

He informed this while talking to PPI on the sideline of “Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Session” on 5th Day of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) Annual Golden Jubilee Symposium on theme 50 years of Research & Development – A continuous pledge to serve, held at Najumuddin Auditorium Hall-C.

He explained that cleft lips and cleft palate are facial and oral malformations that occur very early in pregnancy, while the baby is developing inside the mother. He said clefting results when there is no enough tissue in the mouth or lip area, and the tissue available does not join together properly.

He said similarly, congenital heart diseases are heart problems that develop before birth. He said these diseases affect babies during developing period inside the mother. He said these diseases mostly occur due to cousin marriages and malnutrition of mothers in far-flung areas.

Dr Ehmer said use of folic acid is mandatory for newly pregnant mothers and those planning to have a baby should use a daily dietary supplement to avoid diseases. He said folic acid can help reduce the risk of such diseases during developing stage inside mother. He said folic acid is an essential vitamin found in meat, fresh fruit and vegetables.

He said these diseases have numerous myths and superstations surrounding over lack awareness in the society. He stressed the need for proper awareness among society about the diseases. He said clefts occur more often in children of Asian countries as compared to developed ones.

He said most of such cases were reported from remote areas of Sindh and other parts of country where the plastic surgeon are not available to handle such kind of cases at local level.

He said only 70 plastic surgeons are available in the country which was not enough to cater to such cases. He said good numbers of doctors are leaving for other countries for bright future and scope of plastic surgery in developed countries.

He lamented that the government have no comprehensive strategy and plan to control the prevalence of diseases among newborn babies.

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