Dear doctor, today you visit doctors who tell you lay your baby on its back while others tell you to lay it on their tummy. I lay mine on the tummy. Is there any problem?.


Dear Rhena, the slogan today is back to sleep. In other words unless advised against by your doctor, babies should be made to sleep on their backs.

Laying babies on their backs has reduced the number of babies found dead in their sleep without reason.

Sleeping on the back has been blamed for babies regurgitating milk and the milk going into the lungs to cause aspiration pneumonia but what is true is a baby is more likely to choke with head down especially from soft surfaces and loose beddings. Also back sleeping has been blamed for flat back heads associated with reduced intelligence which is not true but in case you fear this lay your baby on the side or abdomen as long as you are watching them.

Dear doctor, my two-months-old child has white stuff in the mouth and I have tried to remove them but the baby then bleeds. Is there a quick remedy?

Dear Jassy, Candida Albicans is a fungus that normally lives on our skins, in the mouth, vagina and intestines without causing health concerns.

Under certain circumstances, including reduced resistance to fight infections, Candida may flourish, and in the mouth, cause a white coating with reddened areas, called oral thrush. Since a baby’s ability to fight germs is not yet mature, Candida may easily strike especially if there is use of broad spectrum antibiotics. You can use Gentian violet which colours the mouth or Nystatin drops while you improve nutrition of the baby and meanwhile abandon any antibiotic you are using for a milder one.

Dear doctor, advise me before it is too late, because my one-year-old baby cannot harden his private part. I have tried many tricks including dressing while he is looking, bathing the neighbours girl when he looks on in vain. What else can I do?

Dear Alice, it is common for infants to have an erection when their bladders are full, when passing urine, as they take a bath, get a nappy change or for no apparent reason.

Erection then is not always necessary and may not happen in many cases, only to happen erotically when older.

Adults get erections when they fantasise, or dream about sex apart from watching sexual parts or sexual scenes. It is not true that infants will get an erection the same way as adults because they are too young to imagine or even know anything about sex.So your neighbour’s child or your own nudity cannot cause an erection in an infant normal or not.

Though erections in infants indicate normal functioning of the nervous system, lack of them does not indicate problems in the same system.

Dear doctor, I recently found that I have TB. I have never been exposed to TB by a relative or even visited hospital to catch it .Then how did I get it?
Jennie Kissame

Dear Jennie, Tuberculosis (TB) is an infection usually of the lungs, which may be spread from a person with the disease coughing and the other one breathing in mucus droplets laden with the germ.

Because of taking boiled milk, tuberculosis of the intestines is now rare.

Healthy people, those immunised, usually fight off the germ but those sick say with diabetes, HIV infection, or are very young, very old or those on drugs, including those taken for allergy called steroids, may easily succumb.

Many people harbour the germ for years without it causing disease and when the above factors set in then one may fall sick without being exposed to the germ. Also, a person may cough out the germs and if the air is still, a passerby may later breathe in the germ and fall sick.

Dear doctor, there are so many controversies regarding HIV infection. Is it true that washing after sex spreads HIV?
Yuda Isetalyota

Dear Yuda, HIV infection though has existed for over 30 years, has barely been completely understood. This has partly contributed to controversies regarding prevention. It is scientific knowledge that for any infection to succeed, all factors being equal, concentration and the exposure, time span among others are important.

Washing immediately after sex reduces exposure time, concentration and numbers of the invading virus. This method verbally indicated by some African politicians as effective, does not take into account the likelihood of infection during sex, an exposure time one is unlikely to wash self.

Dear doctor, tell me which time is best to exercise. Is it morning or evening?
Enos Katorogo

Dear Enos, many working people’s schedules are full in the evening and the mental and physical energies are exhausted. These then find mornings more exercise friendly. Many others, however, find the evenings more convenient, meaning that the best time for one to exercise depends on personal schedule and lifestyle.

People who consistently exercise in the morning make their bodies ready for exercise at that time of day, becoming uncomfortable switching to evening.

That said, the optimal time to exercise is when our body temperature is at its highest and for most people, this is 4pm to 5pm but being lowest just before waking. Also body strength and endurance are higher in the afternoon than in the morning. Injuries are also less common in the evening compared to morning because the muscles are warmer and more flexible. Scientifically then, evening exercise could be better.

Dear doctor, I am 25 years and last year I got a baby who, the doctor said, has Down’s syndrome, an abnormality associated with the old age of parents. However the child’s father was my age mate. Now I have a 50-year-old manfriend. Do you think history will repeat itself or worse still repeat itself if I have a child with him?
Daniella Quickzote

Dear Daniella, any woman or man at any age can have an abnormal baby, but birth defects in babies are more likely with advanced parental age. This means, then, that it is likely you got an abnormal child just by bad chance.

Downs syndrome is the most common chromosomal (the structures in cells that contain genetic material) birth defect when women are 35 years and above. That said when a woman has delivered a baby with certain abnormalities; she is more likely to have another abnormal baby if she carries the risks including a family history of defects.

Fortunately for you, though your man is older and may carry risks for certain madness (schizophrenia) and a bit of downs syndrome itself, it is advanced maternal age which carries a greatest risk for downs syndrome. Since you are younger than 35 years, I do not expect history to repeat itself.

Dear doctor, I go to a salon once a week to do my hair. The reason am gonna stop is due to the dead skin disease of the head this saloon causes me. Are there special drugs for this?

Dear Annita, usually the scalp loses dead skin in an unnoticed and organised way. When too much dead skin is lost in form of noticeable flakes, one is said to have dandruff.

Dandruff, a none contagious condition, results from a fungus (Malassezia Globosa) which attacks oils of the scalp in susceptible people (especially before puberty) resulting in substances that increase dead scalp cell turnover, shedding and itching. In rare cases, dandruff can result from allergic reactions to chemicals in hair gels, oils, and shampoos which are used in salons. However, dandruff should not be confused with a dry scalp caused by many salon applications. There are shampoos your doctor can prescribe for you to control the problem.

Dear doctor, sweating at night, headaches, dizziness and feeling like dying are the order of the night for me. My doctor advised hormone replacement but I fear cancer!
Fatuma Owemmamba

Dear Fatuma, what you have are distressing symptoms of menopause that every woman dreads. These symptoms are due to almost complete loss of female hormones that accompany menopause. Therefore effective treatment may involve replacement of the dwindling female hormones (hormone replacement treatment, HRT).The replacement however may not be without side effects including a risk of breast cancer, inner uterine membrane (endometrial) cancer if a woman has a uterus, ovarian cancer, stroke, blood clots and heart disease.

Your doctor sees you as a low risk person for getting the said side effects, the reason he advised you to take HRT. If you are dissatisfied, please see him again for counsel.

Dear doctor, I joined a debate with some people about the taste of semen! Is it sweet, salty or tasteless?
Davidson Mugula

Dear Davidson, semen is made up of five per cent sperms, 65 per cent fluids from the seminal vesicles, and a little less than 30 per cent from the prostate gland.

Because the seminal vesicle fluids contain fructose sugar that powers the sperms towards the fallopian tubes to fertilise the female eggs, I suspect, on the whole, that semen is sweet. Please have someone taste it and give us results, I, together with you and others, will be grateful.

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