Francis Djankpa, MPhil, PhD
Nominated From: University of Washington
Research Site: University of Ghana
Research Area: Neuroscience (Head Injury Prevention)
Primary Mentor: Monica Vavilala
Correlation between cranial remodeling and prevalence of developmental delays, deformational plagiocephaly and brachycephaly (DPB) in children aged 0-4 years
Cranial molding is common to many groups of people worldwide and is usually driven by esthetic and cosmetic values. Research however revealed that cranial molding has the potential to cause neurologic deficits affecting brain functions and developmental milestone of children depending on the severity. In Ghana, most nursing mothers subject their babies to intensive cranial molding manually with napkins and hot water pressing hard on the cranium and exposing the children to the risk of deformational plagiocephaly and brachycephaly (DPB) and associated consequences. In this prospective observational cohort study of infants and children aged 0-4 years, we aim at assessing the knowledge, attitude and beliefs of mothers who practice cranial molding. We also aim at assessing the incidence of DPB and developmental delays in children and examining the relationship between cranial molding practices and developmental milestones between birth and 12 months of age. The study will provide insight into the risk of traditional head molding and pave way for appropriate educational and policy interventions
This research is important because it can lead to: 1. Formulation of policies that will help prevent head and brain injury in children in Ghana and elsewhere in the world; 2. Formulation of policies that will help improve clinical childcare in Ghana and elsewhere in the world.