Malumfashi (Katsina State) – A baby girl with what appears to be two heads has been delivered at the General Hospital, Malumfashi, Katsina State.
The baby has also has a cleft palate and stunted fingers.
The 19-year-old Zainabu Dahiru gave birth to the baby with no eyes on Sunday night.
The baby’s father, Malam Dahiru Umar, at his residence at Unguwar-Sodangi in Malumfashi on Tuesday that the baby was born through normal delivery.
Umar, a 25-year-old petty trader, said the baby was their first and his wife attended regular ante-natal care during pregnancy.
He said he burst into tears on sighting the baby and sympathetic hospital workers told him that they could not offer any medical assistance beside the delivery.
He said the workers informed him that his wife was in stable condition and referred the baby to Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, near, Zaria.
Umar appealed to government, wealthy individuals and non governmental organisation’s for support.
Meanwhile, effort to speak with Medical Director of the General Hospital failed.
However, a paediatrician, Dr Ahmad Bala, who spoke to NAN, said the baby needed maximum medical examination to ascertain the nature of the abnormalities.
Bala said the medical examination would include physical checks, X-ray and other diagnosis that would equipped a physician to speak properly on the matter at hand and possible remedies.
The new born baby and her mother were still at home.
When shown the photograph of the baby, a gynaecologist at the Garki Hospital, Abuja, Dr Kayode Obende, said the condition was called encephacele.
According to Wikipedia, the free encycopaedia, encephalocele is a neural tube defect characterised by sac-like protrusions of the brain and the membranes that cover it through openings in the skull. These defects are caused by failure of the neural tube to close completely during fetal development.
Encephaloceles cause a groove down the middle of the skull, or between the forehead and nose, or on the back side of the skull.
The severity of encephalocele varies, depending on its location.
Encephaloceles occur rarely, at a rate of one per 5,000 live births worldwide.
Encephaloceles of the back of the head are more common in Europe and North America, while encephaloceles on the front of the head more frequently occur in Southeast Asia, Africa, Malaysia, and Russia.
Ethnic, genetic, and environmental factors, as well as parental age, can all affect the likelihood of encephaloceles.
The condition can occur in families with a family history of spina bifida.
Although the exact cause is unknown, encephaloceles are caused by failure of the neural tube to close completely during foetal development. Research has indicated that teratogens (substances known to cause birth defects), trypan blue (a stain used to colour dead tissues or cells blue), and arsenic may damage the developing foetus and cause encephaloceles.
Proper levels of folic acid have been shown to help prevent such defects when taken before pregnancy, and early in pregnancy. It is recommended that women who may become pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. (NAN)