A paediatrician at the Bono Regional Hospital in Sunyani, Dr. Bright Asiamah, has called on mothers to stop using naphthalene balls in their babies’ clothes. He said that naphthalene balls can cause jaundice, a condition that causes the skin and eyes to turn yellow.

Newborn jaundice is a common condition that occurs in about 60% of babies. It is caused by a buildup of bilirubin, a yellow pigment, in the blood. Bilirubin is produced when red blood cells break down. In newborns, the liver is not fully developed and cannot remove bilirubin from the blood as quickly as it should.

Naphthalene balls are made of a substance called camphor. Camphor can break down red blood cells, which can lead to jaundice. Dr. Asiamah said that mothers should stop using naphthalene balls in their babies’ clothes and instead use other methods of keeping their babies’ clothes smelling fresh, such as airing them out or using a natural deodorizer.

“We advise mothers to stop using naphthalene balls “Camphor” in the items of their babies because we have identified that it causes Jaundice among babies.” Dr Asiamah disclosed this in Sunyani during the celebration of this year’s New Born Jaundice Awareness Month which was under the theme: “Spot The Yellow, Stop Disability and Death.”

He also admonished mothers to bring their babies to the hospital when they notice that the skin and the colour of the eyes of their babies have turned yellow. Nana Akosua Akomah Dankari I, the Sompahemaa of the Sunyani Traditional Area who spoke at the celebration urged parents to abide by the education given by the health personnel in the prevention and treatment of newborn jaundice.

“Parents have a critical role to play if newborn jaundice is to be reduced in the region. Let’s abide by the education they give to us.” The month-long celebration included; a float on the principal streets of Sunyani to create awareness about the disease. The SDA and Sunyani Municipal Hospitals currently do not have fire flyers which helps in the treatment of Jaundice among babies and they have to depend on the Bono Regional Hospital.

NGOs, corporate bodies and individuals have been urged to come on board to support the hospitals to get fire flyers to help in the treatment of Jaundice among babies in the two facilities.

By: Michael Sarpong Mfum

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