Chapter 16 – DRUGS MOTHERS PRESCRIBE FOR NEWBORN BABIES by O. A. Abosede and E. I. Edoho


Sophistication seems to affect every aspect of life: housing, clothing, feeding and even the types of drugs kept or used by families. The baby box/tray called “ajogba” in the Yoruba speaking parts of Nigeria is a common object in homes of young, couples. The newly wed in some areas have it as one of the wedding presents and the goddess of infertility is worshipped with the box/tray on the heads of maidens of child bearing age.
Traditionally, and in the past. it contained no drug: it had things used during. baby’s bath time for example soap, oil. sponge, comb, powder, “osun” [Ochre (Bimtida)], a red powder commonly used traditionally for dermatological problems) and shea butter which is rubbed on the umbilicus. Considering the contents of the box/tray as found in this study, it would be appropriate to call it 3 mini pharmacy. The traditional contents are invariably kept but a lot of drugs now used routinely on babies (often inappropriately) have been added. Studies have shown that even talc (dusting powder), normally used on the skin has become a popular cord dressing material resulting in infections, umbilical hernia and jaundice. The main purpose of this investigation was to identify harmful contents or the baby box/tray in order to discourage their use without medical prescription and to promote safe use of potentially dangerous ones through health education programmes at clinic and community levels.