Lagos, Nov. 26, 2014 (NAN) Prof. Chris Bode, the acting Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, on Wednesday called for urgent measures to tackle childhood diabetes and obesity. He made the call in Lagos at the 1st annual symposium of the Society of Perinatal Medicine of Nigeria (SOPMON) with the theme “Diabetes and Pregnancy”.
According to him, this theme could not have come at a better time than now when the Federal Government is making all efforts to achieve all the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The ones that relate to the theme of this workshop are MDGS 4 and 5, that is, to reduce child mortality and to improve maternal health. Diabetes mellitus is a major cause of maternal and child mortality in this part of the world.
“For women with diabetes mellitus, pregnancy can present some particular challenges for both mother and child,” he said.
Bode said that in spite of the improved obstetric surveillance and better management of maternal hyperglycemia over the last few decades, perinatal mortality and congenital malformation rates remain higher in pregnancy. “If a woman has diabetes, an inter-current disease in pregnancy, it can cause early labour, birth defects and large babies. The risks of maternal diabetes to the developing foetus include miscarriage, growth restriction, growth acceleration, fetal obesity (macrosomia), mild neurological deficits, polyhydramnios and birth defects. A hyperglycemic maternal environment has also been associated with neonates that are at a greater risk for development of negative health outcomes. These are future obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and metabolism syndrome,” he said.
Earlier, Prof. Godwin Ajayi, the President of SOPMON, said that perinatal medicine was very important, especially in the reduction of child mortality and improving of maternal health. Perinatal medicine helps to determine the state of the foetus. Pregnant women are encouraged to take advantage of this during ante-natal checkups. “It will reduce and help in the management of foreseen complications, even while the baby is still in the womb, thereby helping to reduce child and maternal mortality,” he said.