SPECIAL REPORT: Why preventable Neonatal Tetanus continues to kill newborns in Nigeria
When Mama Adekunle, as she is fondly called, heard the news of the birth of a child to her son, she did what most new grandmothers in Nigeria do – she rushed over to perform her traditional duty of taking care of the new mother and child.
This duty includes passing knowledge to the new mother on how to bathe the child and take care of its umbilical cord.
According to Mama, the umbilical cord needs to heal properly, to avoid stomach pain for the child.
“It can also lead to health complications for the child in the future if it is not well taken care of. As such, we use a napkin heated on a (bush) lantern to press the umbilical cord until it (the top) falls off. We continue this for about three months. By then we are sure that the navel would have healed,” she said.