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How to minimise cholera miscarriages

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th January 2007 03:00 AM

CHOLERA causes miscarriages, nurses at Mulago Hospital’s cholera treatment camp, have revealed. Winnie Bukenya, a nurse at the camp, said that since the cholera outbreak on October 31, last year, no pregnancy affected by cholera has been saved.

CHOLERA causes miscarriages, nurses at Mulago Hospital’s cholera treatment camp, have revealed. Winnie Bukenya, a nurse at the camp, said that since the cholera outbreak on October 31, last year, no pregnancy affected by cholera has been saved.

By Tony Barigye

CHOLERA causes miscarriages, nurses at Mulago Hospital’s cholera treatment camp, have revealed.

Winnie Bukenya, a nurse at the camp, said that since the cholera outbreak on October 31, last year, no pregnancy affected by cholera has been saved.

Cholera is an acute, diarrhoea illness, caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms are watery diarrhoea, vomiting and leg cramps. Rapid loss of body fluids in an infected person leads to dehydration, shock and death if not treated.

The nurses said a pregnant woman’s condition gets complicated when she contracts cholera.

About 1,000 Ugandans have been affected by cholera since its outbreak last year and 20 have died, according to health statistics.

Dr. Baterana Byarugaba, the in-charge of the centre, said most pregnant women brought to the cholera camp are never on time to save their pregnancies and most of them are brought when in comma.

When a pregnant mother gets cholera, she immediately starts vomiting and passing watery stool, depriving the unborn child of nutrients to feed on.

Pregnant patients suffer low sugar and lose mineral salts as a result of severe diarrhoea and vomiting.

“If her blood sugar is below 40mg/deciliter, it means the unborn child’s sugar is less, leading to death,” Byarugaba said. “What befalls the mother also befalls the child,” he added.

Byarugaba explained that due to loss of mineral salts like potassium and chloride, the unborn child develops muscle spasms and convulsions that lead to death.

“The cells of the unborn child are rapidly growing and need a lot of energy. That is why they die,” he said.

Pregnant patients get drained fast because they lose most of the body nutrients yet they have another dependant inside.

Byarugaba advises that a pregnant patients be immediately put on drip to rehydrate the body.

During treatment, she should feed on soft food to prevent intestinal obstruction. This is because severe diarrhoea makes her intestines fragile. Hard foods like cassava and sweet potatoes cause constipation and clog the intestines that are lacking lubrication.

Byarugaba further advises that should they succeed in saving the child, pregnant patients should take lots of drinks like juice on discharge. They should especially the oral rehydration salts prescribed by medics.

He urges that personal hygiene for pregnant women should be at the highest and they should be rushed to hospital immediately they pass out watery stool.

How to minimise cholera miscarriages

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