NABARANGPUR: A baby born with the brain outside the skull and abnormal facial growth is fighting for life at Nabarangpur district headquarters hospital leaving the parents in utter shock. The child was born with severe congenital anomaly, diagnosed as anencephaly, to Hema, the wife of one Niladree Naik of Umuri village under Tentulikhunti block. The boy not only has an apparent brain protruding from the head in place of the skull but is also suffering from abnormal growth of eyes, nose and ears. With the doctors giving slim chances of survival and advising specialised treatment for this rare condition, the parents are in a hapless state not knowing what to do.
Anencephaly occurs due to lack of folic acid (vitamin B9) in the mother before and during pregnancy. The condition is detected by a normal ultrasound (USG) test. That the baby in the womb went undetected all through pregnancy has raised serious questions on the antenatal care being provided to women in the State. The Government is providing folic acid and iron tablets to pregnant women in the State with door-to-door monitoring of expectant mothers by field health workers. The women are being taken for various tests including USG during pregnancy.
The department has no answers how this case could be missed throughout pregnancy but the more pressing issue is facilitating prompt treatment for the baby. The poor parents are in no condition to arrange the treatment nor have the means to shoulder the huge costs of treatment. Demands are being made to the Government to immediately come forward and ensure proper care and treatment for the baby boy.