Another Eastern Cape deformed baby born

2012-07-16 07:53

Johannesburg - 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 on Sunday 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. That 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.

  • Khaedu Ndou - 2012-07-16 08:19

    There is something seriously going on there! i am scared

      rob.baggaley - 2012-07-16 08:24

      Inter breeding ?

      tracy.musto.7 - 2012-07-16 10:24

      Has anyone seriously considered the use of alcohol and/or drugs? So many people underestimate the abuse of alcohol and drugs during those most crucial first few months of pregnancy when that precious little sould is still forming in the womb. There are so many birth defects and mental problems that are the direct result of alcohol and drug abuse in the early stages of pregnancy. I also know for a fact of the serious alcohol abuse in the Transkei area. It is about time that the government looked at this as well.

  • spencer.bullard - 2012-07-16 08:30

    Will most likely be toxic contamination of the local water, unless traditional medicine has changed somehow in the last 2 years.....

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-17 00:34

      If the water were the cause, given the already collected data, any amateur epidemiologist would confirm / deny that within a week.

  • boyisile - 2012-07-16 08:32

    What is happening eMpuma-kapa? a study should be conducted there urgently.

  • Mark - 2012-07-16 08:32

    'No legs OR arms.' (Did she have arms instead of legs?) 'A small penis on her forehead, and one eye.' (Did she have a penis on her forehead and a penis on one eye? Pay attention to the correct use of commas!)

      clinton.badenhorst - 2012-07-16 08:45

      Grammer Nazi alert!

      Mark - 2012-07-16 08:57

      This is a newspaper website, not a blog or the news24 comments section. (You can tell it's not the latter by observing that it appears above the title encouraging one to, 'Comment On This Story'.) As such, it should be held to a higher standard. The writer is, supposedly, a journalist; they are supposed to show at least above average competence in the language in which they choose to write.

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-16 14:21

      Wrong, Bardy! Grammer Nazi Should be GRAMMAR Nazi.

  • jojo.jansen - 2012-07-16 08:39

    its really sad poor babies didn't ask to be born that way and the poor parents must be going thru such heartache, rip lil ones may your parents find comfort in the Lord

  • charlie.vanbergen - 2012-07-16 08:40

    Toxic waste somewhere close??

  • Vicky - 2012-07-16 08:47

    Phocomelia - just like the thalidomide syndrome babies?

  • riaan.schalkwyk.5 - 2012-07-16 08:50

    Sounds like nuclear waste to me

  • Darren - 2012-07-16 09:11

    "with a small penis on her forehead and one eye"... wtf...

      Stirrer - 2012-07-16 10:17

      Sounds like a good candidate for future ANCYL president.

  • Shaun Robinson - 2012-07-16 09:16


  • Len - 2012-07-16 09:18

    Deformities occur out of the blue sir. There is a lot of evidence that antenatal care in its current form does not change outcomes in pregnancy at all. current ultrasound scanning will miss a lot of defects, it is not 100% even in the best hands. The other part of the message is valid, stop smoking , medicines-traditional and western,ethanol in pregnancy

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-17 11:23

      Thank you Len! Only sensible comment on this page -including my own useless speculation. After my shocked knee-jerk reaction, I asked: is this now chance -or not? Assume a SA rural rate for such birth defects of 0,25% for 25 cases p/a to occur, we need 10 000 births in total. With a crude birth rate of 22 per 1000, We need a total population in that area of 10 000 x 1000 / 22 = 454 545. Or not even 7% of the entire EC. 'Nough said. (He said embarrassed and went away.)

  • E=MC2 - 2012-07-16 09:21

    Traditional healers are going to be the downfall of the stupid!

  • antin.herinck - 2012-07-16 09:33

    Not all deformities are necessarily disadvantageous. One can have a deformed head and still become president of SA.

      boyisile - 2012-07-16 09:40

      Hahahahahahaha like who?

      rob.baggaley - 2012-07-16 10:47

      Lol x 100 !

  • storm.trooper.125 - 2012-07-16 09:35

    easterncape ppl stil lives in the STONE AGE when it comes to medications

      mxolisi.veco - 2012-07-16 13:35

      The problem is the lack of education. There are just to many old people who are uneducated who keep convincing the younger people that they know alot while they know very little and end up misleading the young guys.

  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-07-16 09:57

    I think they should check the water or the local terrain for radioactive material. There's no way dug-up herbs can cause such dramatic deformities unless the plants grew on radioactive deposits.

  • colleen.xakaza - 2012-07-16 10:05

    SAfrican PPL. Eskom has placed a site of nuclear power station in The Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth in particular) so they would experience substantial improvement(DEATH). Exposure to NUCLEA WAVES for PREGNENT WOMAN is Harmfull to THE NEXT GENERATIONS DNA (especialy a Fetus)and exposure to radiation alter's Fetus development for all your Generation's to COME!!!

      shelton.thorburn - 2012-07-16 10:58

      Nuclear waves??? Sounds interesting.

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-17 00:46

      New phenomenon in physics. And note: these NUCLEA WAVES also show novel relativistic aspects such as time travel. They can harm even before they are generated, by a future, faulty facility.

  • Christopher - 2012-07-16 10:09

    hhhhmmmm.... maybe less luxury cars and more health care hey ANC?

  • mxolisi.veco - 2012-07-16 13:40

    There should be more programs at schools to encourage young people to seek help from educationally qualified people instead of seeking help from the street.

  • Pierre - 2012-07-16 14:45

    If these babies are the result of those women having sex for airtime, then I really dont care.

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-17 00:54

      Pierre must get a oorkonde. His comment is astounding in its perspicacity. It cuts right to the heart of this medical enigma. Problem solved.

  • ally.kalambay1 - 2012-07-16 15:09

    This is the end off world God says

  • nokubonga.bongiemaxwele - 2012-07-16 22:15

    This is so painful and much research is required...

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