Ask the doctor

Are boiled eggs good for babies?Dear Doctor;My one-year-old baby seems to over enjoy eating eggs. However, some people say eggs are not good for babies and children. Is it true or just some myth? Janet, Kigali.

Are boiled eggs good for babies?

Dear Doctor;

My one-year-old baby seems to over enjoy eating eggs. However, some people say eggs are not good for babies and children. Is it true or just some myth? Janet, Kigali.

Dear Janet,

Eggs are highly nutritious and provide iron, proteins, vitamins and fat. But they are rich in cholesterol, that is, one of the fats of the body. One egg contains about 213 mg. of cholesterol. These days children and adolescents are also getting obese and susceptible to ill effects of obesity, hence advised to restrict intake of fats. It is advised that if children do not take saturated fats in other forms like cheese, butter, among others, they can take more eggs.

But if there are other foods with fats eggs should be restricted. Eggs present in other dishes such as cakes, cookies, among others, should also be accounted for. The level of physical activity is also important. However, your baby is very young. If he enjoys eggs let him take it.


But it should not be eggs alone. The diet should include other nutrients as well like  nuts, fruits, vegetables, cereals, etc. Considering his age, the quantity of his intake would not be much. Hence to keep a balanced diet, give him eggs regularly but in restricted quantity.

What is HIV ‘preventive treatment’?

Dear Doctor;

People sometime talk about preventive HIV treatment. What does it mean? Could someone who has had unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person under such a treatment and not get infected with the virus? Patrice, Kayonza.

Dear Patrice,

There are two ways by which HIV infection can be prevented. In primary prevention, one should avoid sexual intercourse with a partner whose HIV status is unknown or who has some genital ulcer or discharge.


Ideally a condom should be used for prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Secondary prevention consists of using anteretroviral drugs as soon as possible if there has been accidental exposure to HIV. These drugs should be started at the most within 72 hours or preferably early.


This prevents replication of the virus after entering the cells and prevents a person being infected. But these drugs produce unpleasant side effects and can cause hepatotoxicity as well. Hence, it is prudent to avoid the infection at primary level itself that is avoid getting infected.What is causing the scar-like skin infection?

Dear Doctor;

My grandmother has some scar-like stuff on her skin. They are on her back. She says they tend to itch but they came despite her not having got any wounds in the affected skin area. What could this be? I have attached a picture. Francine, Kigali.

Dear Francine,

The kind of scar seen on the picture look like a superficial fungal infection. This kind of infection comes due to damp conditions prevailing. This occurs due to wearing damp clothes, or sweating on affected part. Synthetic material like nylon aggravates the problem. Conditions reducing body’s immunity like diabetes, renal dysfunction, HIV infection, etc precipitate and aggravate the condition.

The diagnosis can be confirmed by taking a scraping from the lesion and examining it under microscope. The infection may subside by itself after some days and then reappear under favorable conditions. Other likely conditions causing this type of lesion could be psoriasis, though this usually would not come isolated on back or allergy to some substance being used.

Your grandmother should do a blood test to exclude diabetes. She can take some antiallergy drug like cetrizine to get relief in itching. An ointment containing combination of antifungal and corticoid medication should be applied at least twice every day for at least a month and then it will be okay.

Why is one of my testicles is bigger?

Dear Doctor;

I have observed that my right testicle has grown two times bigger its original size in the last few months. However, there is no pain and no effect on my sexual life. But it looks odd. Is it normal for one testicle to grow bigger than the other? Concerned Man, 34.

Dear Concerned Man,

There are multiple causes for testicular swelling at 34 years but fortunately all are treatable. The swlooen testes would give an impression of being larger than other.

Orchitis(testicular swelling) can occur due to swelling of epididymis(tube connecting testes to urethra or urine tube). This can be due to bacterial infections but they are mostly painful.

Infections like Chlamydia can cause slowly growing swelling but there would be no or minimal pain. These infections can be sexually acquired and are often associated with a swelling in the groin as well due to enlarged lymph nodes. The treatment is by taking complete course of a suitable antibiotic.

Varicose veins is a condition of swelling and congestion of veins of testes which resolves completely by surgery. Testicular tumors though rare manifest as painless swellings. But they are amenable to treatment.

It is advisable that you consult a urologist who can examine and decide the cause for enlargement of one testes. Thus it can be suitably treated

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