Another ECape baby born with deformities, no legs and arms

2012-07-16 07:21

Eastern Cape health officials urged expectant mothers to seek pre-natal care and avoid medication and traditional cures as a third baby in two months was born with extreme physical deformities.

A baby girl was born on Thursday with no legs and arms.

“Her hands and feet were attached directly to her torso,” said Eastern Cape health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

The girl died within hours of her birth.

Kupelo said this was the third incident of a baby being born with extreme deformities in the Transkei area.

More than 50 such babies have been born in the past two years. Many of the babies are born as conjoined twins.

Last month, a baby was born near Mthatha with a small penis on her forehead and one eye.

The baby too died soon after birth.

“It is the concern of the department especially since these are concentrated in the area of Transkei. We urge pregnant women to stop taking over-the-counter drugs and taking care in their first weeks of pregnancy,” Kupelo said.

“We also urge them not to use traditional remedies.”

Kupelo said the department did not know the direct cause of the birth deformities but believed an important factor was women not seeking or receiving pre-natal care while pregnant.

“We suspect they’re taking wrong medication during pregnancy or traditional herbs. It’s only a presumption because we don’t know the real cause,” Kupelo said.

He said doctors had been interviewing the women to try and pin down the cause of the deformities.

They found that many of the women did not receive or postponed pre-natal care.

“We think there is a lot happening around pregnancy ... they are not only a danger to their babies but themselves,” Kupelo said.

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