A man from Butaleja district has abandoned his wife at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital after she delivered a baby with exposed intestines.
Having dropped his expectant wife Sumini Naula at the facility on Wednesday, Hussein Mukeru a resident of Kachonga Village in Butaleja district waited for the baby to arrive throughout the night to Thursday.
However to his dismay, the outcome was beyond his imagination when Hassan Nakafero, a surgeon at maternity section broke the news that the baby, delivered by caesarean had birth defects. Moments later, he could not be reached.
The case was subsequently referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital for adequate attention but the deserted mother does not have the capacity to get there.
Dr. Julius Watenguli, a clinical officer at Mbale regional referral hospital says in the interim, doctors at the hospital are offering conformist treatment to prevent the exposed gut from rotting.
He adds that because of a shortage in equipment and manpower to handle the required operation, the case cannot be handled in Mbale.
Last year, another mother from Kibaale district delivered a baby whose intestines were outside the abdomen. They were referred to Mulago Hospital where the baby’s condition was rectified.
Doctors described the condition as gastroschisis, a birth defect of the abdominal wall, where the baby’s intestines stick outside of the body, through a hole beside the belly button.
Although the condition is rare, the chance of survival for children born with such defect in Uganda is minimal as opposed to developed countries where children born with gastroschisis have 100% chances of survival.
Dr. Watenguli, the Mbale clinical officer further explains that although this and several other congenital anomalies may be genetic, infectious or environmental in origin, most often it is difficult to identify the exact causes.
He however adds that many of such anomalies can be prevented through vaccination, adequate intake of folic acid and iodine and adequate antenatal care.
According to the world health organization, Congenital anomalies affect an estimated 1 in 33 infants and result in approximately 3.2 million birth defect-related disabilities every year.
An estimated 270, 000 newborns die during the first 28 days of life every year from congenital anomalies.
The most common severe congenital anomalies are heart defects, neural tube defects and Down syndrome.