Blood Tests Can Reduce Infant Mortality - Expert Top story

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In short
Problems arise when the mother is Rh- and the father Rh because there are chances that the fetus can inherit the Rh factor from the father, and the mothers system fights it as a foreign body.

 Pregnant mothers should test and know their blood groups to avoid new born deaths, as well as reduce chances of miscarriage. Rhesus incompatibility is one of the major causes of death for both unborn and newly born babies.
Dr. Proscovia Pirio, a health expert on new born babies working with Save the Children, says the best remedy against this is for pregnant mothers to know their blood group and rhesus status, as well as that of the father.
According to Dr. Pirio, the mother's body will treat the different Rh proteins found in her baby's blood as foreign and make antibodies to attack them, as soon as the two blood types mix in any way, which is a condition called Rhesus disease. The disease can cause serious illness, brain damage, or even death in the fetus or newborn.
Rhesus factor is an inherited protein found on the surface of red blood cells. Although this may not have any impact on other people, it is a special factor to pregnant women.

In Uganda, more than 39,000 new born babies die annually due to different factors and Rhesus disease is one of them.

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However, this condition can be treated if it is detected before a woman gives birth, by using administering anti-D drug. The challenge remains that many medical facilities and personnel in Uganda may not manage the procedure.

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Women who have Rh factor are classified as Rh positive (A+, B+, AB+ and O+) and women who don't are Rh negative (A-, B-, AB- and O).

 

About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).