Second-hand smoke increases meningitis risk in children - report
Posted Thursday, February 28 2013 at 02:33
Doctors say smoking during pregnancy has many negative effects on the child.
Passive foetal exposure to smoking during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of childhood aggressive meningitis, a new study has revealed.
The study that was conducted by doctors at the BioMed Central Limited in London, showed that maternal smoking significantly increased the risk meningitis by three times during pregnancy, and by two times after birth.
Dr Godfrey Alia, a gynaecologist at Mulago hospital, explained that there was always a link between smoking and the state of a baby.
“For the case of tobacco, it contains so many toxins which can result into complications like meningitis,” Dr Alia said.
He noted that severe meningitis could lead to intellectual disability, epilepsy, deafness and at times it could lead to death.
“Besides meningitis, smoking during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight, pre-term deliveries and abnormalities in babies,” he said.
West Nile, a tobacco growing area, is one of the hardest hit regions with meningitis.
Recently, while launching a meningitis vaccination campaign in West Nile, Dr Alfred Kinzelbach, the coordinator of Malteser International, a German international relief agency, said the had 400 meningitis cases.