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Session Two: Causes of Ill Health in Children

Dr Alex Tang


1.      Factors that contribute to ill health in children

a.      Birth factors

                                                  i.      During pregnancy

1.      smoking, alcohol, drug addiction

2.      maternal infections

3.      poor ante monitoring

a.       VDRL

b.      Rhesus

c.       Weight gain

4.      poor maternal health

                                                ii.      During birth

1.      prolonged labour

2.      obstructed labour

3.      neonatal asphyxia

4.      umbilical cord prolapse

                                              iii.      After birth

1.      congenital heart disease

2.      neonatal jaundice

3.      infections

4.      breast feeding

5.      prematurity

                                              iv.      Genetics

1.      congenital hypothyroidism

2.      Down Syndrome

3.      Edward Syndrome

4.      Patau Syndrome

5.      Combined immunodeficiency disease

b.      Family factors

                                                  i.      Parenting skills

1.      lack of parenting skills

2.      immature parents

3.      lack of knowledge of nutrition

4.      poor feeding techniques

5.      delegation to maids/other caretakers

6.      child abuse

                                                ii.      Dysfunctional families

1.      single parents

2.      divorce

3.      using children as weapons

                                              iii.      Adoption/foster care

c.       Community practices

                                                   i.      Cultural taboos

                                                 ii.      Food taboos

d.      Environmental factors

                                                   i.      Overcrowding

                                                 ii.      Shelter

                                                iii.      Dangerous surroundings

                                               iv.      Poor sanitation

e.      Economic

                                                   i.      Poverty

                                                 ii.      Recession

                                                iii.      Large family

                                               iv.      Health of wage-earner

2.      Factors that encourages good health

a.      Good health care monitoring

                                                   i.      Antenatal monitoring

                                                 ii.      Well child followup monitoring

                                                iii.      Immunisation

b.      Good parenting skills

                                                   i.      Breast feeding

                                                 ii.      Weaning

                                                iii.      Balanced diet

                                               iv.      Love and care

                                                 v.      Role models

c.       Community practices

                                                   i.      Role of grandparents and extended families

                                                 ii.      Healthy food practices

d.      Environmental

                                                   i.      Shelter

                                                 ii.      Safe

                                                iii.      Clean

3.      Reflection ideas


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