Mthatha Express

MEC Meth visits child born with rare condition

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Eastern Cape Health MEC, Nomakhosazana Meth (centre), chats to baby Anothando’s mother, Ongeziwe Ntshali, and specialist paediatrician, Dr. Nonkqubela Mkizwana, while visiting the child at Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital last week.                                                           Photo:LUVO CAKATA
Eastern Cape Health MEC, Nomakhosazana Meth (centre), chats to baby Anothando’s mother, Ongeziwe Ntshali, and specialist paediatrician, Dr. Nonkqubela Mkizwana, while visiting the child at Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital last week. Photo:LUVO CAKATA

EASTERN Cape Health MEC, Nomakhosazana Meth, has promised that the department will pull out all the stops to help two-month-old Anothando of Ngavungavu location in Libode.

Anothando was born with a rare condition that the department said it was still investigating.

Meth was speaking after visiting the child and her mother, Ongeziwe Ntshali, at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital’s paediatric ward in Mthatha, on September 3.

Anothando is currently kept in an incubator at the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

Pictures of the newborn child circulated on social media show her facial appearance as someone older than her age, with some social media users concluding that the child was born with progeria, a very rare genetic disease that causes children to age rapidly.

“We have managed to contact other sister departments, such as the Department of Social Development and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and we will also rope in the Department of Human Settlements, as the mother of the child is from a disadvantaged background and there are serious socio-economic challenges in the family of the mother,” Meth said.

Meth also donated clothing and toiletries to the newborn child during her visit.

Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital specialist paediatrician, Dr Nonkqubela Mkizwana, who is monitoring Anothando’s health at the hospital, said the hospital could not confirm if the child had progeria, saying the hospital was still investigating her condition.

“As the hospital, we cannot confirm what condition the child is suffering from, as we are still investigating. What I can only say is that the child was born with a severe malnutrition that can affect her appearance and we are still awaiting results of several tests that we have run on the child to come back,” Mkizwana said.

Mkizwana further said there was a possibility that the child was born prematurely, but emphasised that the child was not different from any child they had attended to before at the hospital.

The child was said to be on the mend and having improved from the condition she was in during admission at the hospital.

Mkizwana said Anothando’s weight was improving, and they would continue with the child’s nutritional habilitation programme and only discharge her when she has gained enough weight to go home.

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