On superstitions and science…


Obanje, Changeling, Fairy, Abiku, it’s mind blowing looking back to times were all these were the norm. I kid you not, regardless of what the westerners say they were no better than African people I mean really? Changelings? I knew the movies had to have come from somewhere.
I’ve believed for a long that the main cause of these cultural phenomena’s was the Rhesus factor, and other illnesses like sickle cell anaemia. I know I am not alone so cheers to all of my companions. Well needless to say gravely was I mistaken, there shockingly is a scientific phenomenon as creepy and scary as the Obanje/changeling situation.

SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome); syndrome! it’s not even a joke, It’s still a syndrome. The cause of 80% of death in infants is due to SIDS which, as the name implies; is the sudden death of infants less than 1 year of age. The highest risk age range being 1-4 months of age, and time range being 00:00 to 9:00 Am (i.e. during sleep).
SIDS being a syndrome means the cause is still unknown. Diagnosis is given when proper and thorough autopsy is done on the infant and proper investigation of the “crime scene” and nothing comes up. However proposed theories include; accidental suffocation due to sharing of beds, accidental suffocation by surrounding soft things on the bed, laying the child on their belly or side, overheating, exposure to tobacco, underlying congenital abnormality, etcetera.

My theory will be suffocation due to not fully developed air ways. Imagine a pipe made of nylon with air passing in and out one slow movement or delayed air and one end will just close up. Let me explain. The muscles of the baby are still weak and relaxed. In the relaxed state of the muscles it is easy for the airways to be severely narrowed or just closed up. And as I’ve learnt the first law of medicine; you don’t breathe, you die.

There is no treatment for SIDS but there are ways to reduce risk and help babies sleep safely:

  • Always place the baby on their back on a firm mattress
  • Use a pacifier
  • Make sure your baby does not get too hot
  • Remove all the toys from the baby’s crib
  • Vaccinate your baby
  • Avoid fluffy or overly soft pads or blankets

I believe moving forward we’re going to hear this a lot more “Alert not Anxious”. This article is not to instill fear or worry in anyone but it’s about enlightening and informing. Now it’s time for us to be upstanders, and not bystanders. When we see someone going through a similar situation and not understanding what it is, it is our duty to help such people understand. Enlighten them have them go and check their blood group, genotype, rhesus compatibility or just to their doctor in general they will know what to do. I want us to know that the best support we can give in this painful situation is our love.

Thanks for stopping by.
If you want a full article on the Rhesus factor; compatibility, incompatibility, and sickle cell anaemia, stick around coming soon.


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