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September 2022

Lancet. 1983 Jul; 2(8344): 262-4.

Infants in Juba, Southern Sudan: the first six months of life.

Woodruff AW, Adamson EA, El Suni A, Maughan TS, Kaku M, Bundru N.

A longitudinal survey of child health in Juba was done to secure data on which preventive schemes could be based. 223 pregnant women were identified in a systematic search of a district. 5 infants were stillborn and 10 were born prematurely. The mothers of 5 of the 10 premature infants had had acute malaria at or immediately preceding delivery. 2 of these premature babies later died from causes attributable to prematurity and therefore indirectly to the preventable maternal malaria. The causes of neonatal mortality included tetanus caused by cutting the cord with a blade of grass. Between the 1st and 6th month, 5 infants died of infective enteritis, 1 of bronchopneumonia, and 1 of pyrexia of undetermined origin associated with convulsions. Growth was much impaired by diarrhoea, which caused 85 attacks among 63 babies, and by lower respiratory infections, of which there were 119 among 74 of the babies. Skin and eye infections were also common. Removal of the unerupted canine teeth, believed to cure or prevent illness, caused much distress and some aspiration bronchopneumonia. Health education and improved hygiene and water supplies would greatly reduce the extent of morbidity and mortality.

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