- Unvaccinated children will be banned from New South Wales childcare facilities from January after state parliament passed legislation. The NSW legislation scraps the “conscientious objector” option, means directors of childcare centres will face a fine up to $5500 if they break the rules.
- The Hunter Medical Research Institute says most stillbirths are triggered by an ageing placenta. HMRI hopes to develop a blood test for stillbirth risk in three to five years. 1 in 100 Australian pregnancies that reaches 20 weeks gestation ends in stillbirth.
- A study of 3,000 Australian children born between 2003 and 2004 published in the international journal Nature Scientific Reports has found children born via a caesarean on average had lower Year Three NAPLAN scores compared to children of a vaginal birth.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
Unvaccinated children will be banned from New South Wales childcare facilities from January after state parliament passed legislation. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote to state and territory leaders in March requesting a uniform approach. The NSW legislation, which passed on Wednesday night and scraps the “conscientious objector” option, means directors of childcare centres will face a fine up to five thousand five hundred dollars if they break the rules.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard says the majority of the NSW community has achieved “outstanding” vaccination rates. He said in a statement that all it takes is one unvaccinated child and dozens of others could be put at risk of serious illness. He added: “We are being very clear that choices of conscientious objectors, which are not evidence-based, will no longer be allowed to impact other families.”
The rules will not apply to children on a recognised catch-up vaccination schedule and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Figures released in June revealed the NSW north coast’s vaccination rate trailed the rest of the nation. There, one thousand six hundred sixty seven children aged five or under were not fully immunised, compared with seven hundred twenty one children in western NSW and four hundred eighty one in Murrumbidgee in the state’s southwest, according to two thousand fifteen-two thousand sixteen Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data. The federal government is also ramping up its “no jab, no pay” policy, with legislation introduced to parliament on Thursday to dock welfare payments by twenty eight dollars a fortnight for parents whose children do not meet immunisation rules.
The Hunter Medical Research Institute says most stillbirths are triggered by an ageing placenta.
HMRI hopes to develop a blood test for stillbirth risk in three to five years. One in one hundred Australian pregnancies that reaches twenty weeks gestation ends in stillbirth. But an Australian researcher has had a major breakthrough in understanding the mysteries of stillbirth, and is developing a test which could alert obstetricians when a baby is in grave danger. “It certainly is the most exciting project I’ve been involved in so far, with the potential to influence people’s lives around the planet,” Professor Roger Smith said.
Professor Smith’s team at the HMRI has found that many stillbirths are triggered by a deteriorating placenta. He said that different people age at different rates and some placentas age more rapidly than others. The placenta is a vital organ which connects a growing baby to its mother via the umbilical cord.
Professor Smith believes some placentas begin to age weeks before the mother’s due date, slowly starving the foetus of the nutrients and oxygen it needs to survive.
A baby only has a good chance of surviving outside the womb after twenty seven weeks gestation. If Professor Smith’s research team can figure out a way to control its presence in the body, the medical possibilities could be endless.
Experts say that an association has been found between caesarean birth and developmental delays at primary school age but there is no cause for panic or alarm. A study of three thousand Australian children born between two thousand three and two thousand four published in the international journal Nature Scientific Reports has found children born via a caesarean on average had lower Year Three National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy or NAPLAN scores compared to children of a vaginal birth.
The observed delays in grammar, numeracy, reading and writing were equivalent to a child missing about thirty five days of a school year. The authors wrote: ‘’We observe significant negative relations between caesarean birth and measures of child cognitive development”. They added that the key message to medical practitioners is to take a precautionary approach when formulating birth plans, especially when there are no apparent elevated health risks from vaginal birth. One explanation given by the authors was that good bacteria picked up in the birth canal by babies born by vaginal delivery may give them a distinct developmental advantage later in life.
Doctor Charlotte Elder, spokeswoman for The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says this is one study to find a link and should not cause any stress. She said that large number of caesarean sections are done to avoid potentially life-threatening complications, including death.