A baby with strange features, the first ever case to be reported in Malawi was on Thursday moved to the major referall hospital in capital city of Malawi, Lilongwe where doctors at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) said the baby was born with “harlequin ichthyosis.”
This genetic condition – also known as Harlequin fetus -means that they grow as much skin overnight as most people do in 14 days.
The baby, third born to a mother from Lifuwa Village in a lakeshore district of Salima, has a white face, red lips and bulging eyes.
A medical expert at KCH said: “Harlequin ichthyosis has no known cure and is a painstaking difficult condition to live with.”
The doctor also said, the mother, Jamila Mandula, 23, has accepted what has happened and started breast feeding the baby.
State-run MBC/TV were the first to report in its news bulletin Wednesday night about the baby.
When interviewed, the mother said: “My last hope is now God. I have nothing to say or no one to rely upon apart from God. He assisted me to conceive and I am sure he will also be in full control of the gift of a child he has given me. I have two children both of whom are boys.”
According to District Nursing Officer (DNO) for Salima District Hospital, Arthur Champiti, the case was the first of its kind and they sought assistance from their colleagues at the Kamuzu Central Hospital for further treatment.
He said chances of the child’s survival are low considering that there’s no immediate treatment for the condition. Champiti said the baby is prone to infections.
“The main challenge is that the child is not covered with normal skin as it is supposed to be. Its body has scale like features and torn,” said Champiti.