The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Baby Born Without Anal, Genital Openings

A Chivhu woman recently gave birth to a baby without anal and genital openings, resulting in the child not defecating or urinating. The baby's mother said her child also had a swollen stomach. "I had a normal birth and my baby weighed three kilogrammes," she said.

"Nurses noticed the child had no private parts and advised me not to breastfeed her, as she could not relieve herself. The baby had to be fed through a drip."

The mother said the baby that was born on December 2 in Chivhu and was later transferred to Harare Central Hospital where she underwent an operation.

"My child is now relying on tubes to relieve herself and she can now feed normally," she said. She said doctors informed her that the child also had a missing kidney and a blocked bladder. The baby had slightly developed female genitalia, she said.

"I am glad that my child is receiving treatment for free. If it was a private hospital, I would not afford the bills," she said.

Harare Central Hospital surgeon Dr Taurai Zimunhu said the baby's problem was common, although it was more serious in her situation.

"This condition is classified under malformation disorders and this happens during the development of the child in the womb," he said.

"The condition is called anorectal malformation which causes disorder in the development of the anal canal, rectum and sometimes the genital system."

Dr Zimunhu said there had been cases where babies were born without the anal canal, but in this case the genital urinary was also affected. "This is a severe case, which requires emergency attention," he said.

Dr Zimunhu said the hospital had to take emergency measures by operating on the baby so that she could pass out urine and stools.

"The baby will have to undergo a corrective operation for the reconstruction of normal anal and genital system structures," he said.

Dr Zimunhu said the baby was doing well.

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