NIGERIA -- A middle-aged woman (names withheld) has been delivered of a baby with a monstrous head at the General Hospital, Iyin-Ekiti.
The strange creature, which has bulging, froggy eyes, was born at around 2.15 p.m. at the weekend through a caesarean operation.
The monster baby also has an open hole at the back of its head, from where something that looked like mucus could be seen.
Ekiti State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wole Olugboji, who confirmed the strange occurrence to newsmen yesterday, said the headless baby died but the mother was alive.
According to him, ‘There was a woman who gave birth to a baby without a head at General Hospital, Iyin. The baby is dead but the mother is okay.’
Olugboji said the mother of the little creature, who was still unconscious due to the sedation before the Caesarean section, did not see the baby, which was quickly disposed of in order to save the parents from the embarrassment that the strange baby might have caused them.
The father of the baby, a reliable source said, was present in when it was born and he approved of the quick burial of the strange creature. The hospital source said: ‘The baby did not have brain. His head was open at the back and you could see mucus inside the head instead of brain. It was strange, nobody in the hospital had seen such baby before.’
Another source added that the strange baby was very small at birth. He said the delivery was abnormal as the fluid that was drained out of the mother"s body was in excess of normal quantity.
The woman was said to have gone for a series of scans in some private hospitals, where she was told that she was going to deliver a set of twins. It was gathered that officials of the General Hospital, Iyin, told the parents that the woman was carrying only one foetus and it was headless.
They believed that the baby must have been deformed due to the effects of some drugs or herbs.
‘That is why we always ask pregnant women not to take any drugs unless they were prescribed by doctors. We can"t also rule it out that the deformity might have been caused by concoctions. It is possible,’ he said.
Speaking with The Moment on the occurrence, Dr. Philips Kanemo, of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin City, Edo State, said it could be the result of congenital malformation or abnormality, which is a medical condition where a child is born without a brain.
According to him, ‘It makes the entire head appear malformed or almost invisible, with a very small skull, and not that there is total absence of head.’
On the likely causes of such malformation, Kanemo said the condition could be idiopathic, that is, with ‘no known cause.’
‘It could be from toxic drugs taken by the mother at pregnancy or even alcohol. Many other substances can cause it.
‘Because we are in Africa, some might attach it to witchcraft; but whatever is not scientifically proven is not a fact and has no basis,’ he said.
Anencephaly is a cephalic disorder that results from a neural tube defect that occurs when the cephalic (head) end of the neural tube fails to close, usually between the 23rd and 26th day of pregnancy, resulting in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp.
Pictured: Baby born without head in NigeriaPictured: Baby born without head in Nigeria