Story By: Agboola Olufunke Florence

A 15-day-old Nigerian baby, born with improperly developed food pipe, has successfully undergone surgical correction of her digestive tract at a hospital in Pune, India, Times of India reported recently.

The baby showed significant post-operative recovery and was discharged. Baby Chemeire Ibewuike’s oesophagus was not developed, a condition known as oesophagus atresia. ‘”it is a rage congenital defect, in which the food pipe connecting the mouth to the stomach is shortened and closed (dead ended) at some point. The condition is called 0esophagus atresia. It affects approximately one in 4,000 live babies as in most cases babies get aborted because of severe abnormality,” said paediatric surgeon Dasmit Singh, who operated upon the baby at Jehangir hospital on January 5.
‘” Normally, babies with such condition need to be operated within hours after birth. Otherwise the child dies. However, in this case, the child was operated after 15 days of birth. Even then, it has survived and done well.” Singh said. The mother was delivered of twin babies in imo state on December 21, of which one died at birth.

Two days later parents were told that the surviving baby had potential life threatening complication. The father, himself a doctor, was aware that survival rates were very low in Nigeria for babies with defect his daughter had been born with (undeveloped food pipe).
Through an intermediary, the father contacted singh, who assured him that the baby can be saved. The parents reached Pun on January 2 ‘since the baby could not take any oral feed, it was put on intravenous drip.

Seeing the baby’s condition, two airline refused to take us in. all the travel management and journey took eight days. Hence, by the time we reached Pune, 10 days had already passed’ Chemeire’s mother said.
The child was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit, where she’s to be resuscitated as she was highly dehydrated and very sick. All the accumulated secretions were sucked out, the baby was started on oxygen and then investigated,’’
Singh said, ‘the baby was in no condition to be operated, she would have not survived the anaesthesia and surgery. So, in consultation with the parents, we postponed surgery till her conditions stabilized and improved.
Credits: The Punch newspaper