South African Woman Gives Birth To A Child With Rare Genetic Condition, Progeria.
A baby born to a 20-year-old South African mother was diagnosed with progeria, a rare genetic condition that causes children to age fast.
A mutation (change) in the lamin (LMNA) gene causes progeria, often known as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS).
The woman from Libode in Eastern Cape, gave birth to the baby girl at home two months ago. Midwives in the area, including the baby’s grandmother, noticed that she showed signs that were unusual for a baby. Her skin was wrinkled, and her hands were malformed. She and her mother are currently in the hospital.
The grandmother said:
“When she was in labour we called an ambulance but it took long to come. So she gave birth here at home. But the delivery got complicated and we hired a van to take her to hospital.
“We were told there that she’s disabled. I noticed during her birth that there was something strange with her. She did not cry and she was breathing through the ribs. I was shocked because that was strange. Now I hear that people are calling her names. That hurts a lot. If I had means, I would put all of them in jail.”
Social media has been flooded with photos of the infant. Some users compared her to an ape, which infuriated and angered those who sympathize with her.
Petros Majola, director of the Khula Community Development Project, a children’s rights organization, believes that communities need to be educated about this condition.
“Communities must know that the mother did not apply for her baby to be like this. In a woman’s womb, there is no construction or factory that builds babies. People need to embrace this child for who she is,” says Majola.