The "Mother and Child"
Just as "children are the presenting problems of the parents' illness", the "infant is usually the presenting feature of the mother's problem". It seems appropriate therefore that this issue has been devoted to a theme on the "Mother and Child". It coincides with a series of symposia organized recently by a couple of institutions around the same theme, including a highly successful scientific meeting celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine of The University of Hong Kong,1 to whom our Editorial Board wishes to offer our most sincere congratulations.
Dr Hanson's article2 on breastfeeding is a timely review on the most intimate and interactive relationship between the mother and the child. As pointed out very correctly humans are the only mammals who interfere with nature's way of feeding the young. Luckily the quest for knowledge has led to the discovery of more evidence on the benefits and advantages of breast milk to urge our mothers to go back to breast feeding their infants again.
Dr Richard Cooke3 has provided an excellent review on the insight into a new concept of preventing tissue damage syndromes in the neonates with anti-oxidants like allopurinol. Readers are probably aware also of other potential brain salvaging possibilities such as the use of brain-cooling devices and various neurotrophic growth factors. Dr. Ramstad and his colleagues4 highlighted a factor which is seldom attended to by neonatologists or paediatricians. It is intriguing to note the high intensity of electro-magnetic influx occurring in the neonatal intensive care environment; it might even have immediate and lasting impact. Dr. Heideman's comprehensive review5 on paediatric oncology has provided valuable information to the generalists also.
It is heartening to receive a number of local contributions to this issue. We welcome Dr. Terance Lao's contribution6 on fetal growth assessment, which serves as an important reminder for paediatrician always to examine the placenta on routine examination of the newborn. It is also useful to note some local prenatal screening results as indicated by Dr. Y. H. Lam and his colleagues7; this is nicely followed-up by Dr. George Chiu et al's articlet delineating the psychological impact on the families of newborns with Down syndrome. Dr. Y L. Lau et al's paper9 provides another useful reminder of the importance of immuno-modulation in the mechanism of genesis of diseases including even aplastic anaemia.
The 8th James Hutchison Memorial Lecture by Dr. A Catto-Smith10 is featured in this issue. It is important for paediatricians to note the highly prevalent gastro-esophageal reflux occurring in infants of Caucasian origin and in children with chronic diseases. Surprisingly, this is not as frequent occurrence in healthy Chinese infants, although it occurs often among the chronically illed and the immaturely born.11 The experience updated by Dr SN Wong and his colleagues12 has revealed important and interesting changes of renal pathologies since Tsao et al first examined kidney histology in children with persistent proteinuria in Hong Kong in 1969.13 Dr V Wong provides her personal view14 on neurodevelopmental paediatrics to highlight the establishment of a discipline with local favour.
"El Nino" has not only produced global weather disturbances resulting in disasters and drastic weather changes in places after places, there is also less major "El Nino health disturbances" affecting Hong Kong recently. Most people's gastronomic habits have been affected by the high bacterial counts in ice-cream, H5N1 influenza outbreak in chicken, poison in the deep water fish and cholera contamination of shell-fish. We are grateful to Dr KY Yuen15 for his most timely annotation on the H5N1 problem, which has put Hong Kong on focus by the whole world recently. I hope our readers would enjoy reading this special number.
1. 110th Anniversary of Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong. Proceedings of Meeting, Oct., 1997.
2. Hanson LA. Non-breastfeeding - the most common immunodeficiency. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:5-8.
3. Cooke RWI. Free-radicals, antioxidants and neonatal disease. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:9-14.
4. Ramstad 5, Bradlit D, Christensen T, Johnsson A. Infants in an intensive care unit - the electromagnetic field environment. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:15-20.
5. Heideman RL. Advances in the treatment of childhood astrocytoma and medulloblastoma. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:21-8.
6. Lao T. Placental ratio and fetal growth. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:29-31.
7. Lam YH. New strategies of prenatal screening for fetal Down's syndrome and prenatal diagnosis of homozygous a-thalassaemia1 in Hong Kong. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:32-5.
8. Chiu G, Chow CB, Tam A, Lui B, Yau E, Tong H, Yu CM. Survey on the response and adaptation of families born with babies with Down syndrome in Hong Kong. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:36-44.
9. Lau YL, Ha SY, Chan GCF, Chiu DCK, Lee ACW. Immunosuppressive therapy for severe aplastic anaemia in children. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:45-8.
10. Catto-Smith AG. Gastro-oesophageal reflux in children with chronic disease: the 8th James HutchisO Memorial Lecture. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:52-4.
11. Yeung CY Are health problems different in Chinese children. (Abs) Proceedings of Chinese Paediatric Forum. Department of Paediatrics, University of Hong Kong, Nov. 1996; p18.
12. Wong SN, Chan KW, Chiu MC. A review of paeidtric renal biopsies in Hong Kong. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:55-9.
13. Tsao YC, Chan WC, Gibson JB. Persistent proteinuria in children. Arch Dis Child 1969;44(236):443-53.
14. Wong V. Paediatric neurorehabilitation-Concept, organization & current trend. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:60-5.
15. Yuen KY. Human disease caused by Avian influenza A subtype HSN1 Virus - an emerging infection. HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:3-4.
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