Baby with four legs in Yola: Doctors carry out successful surgery

A two months old baby girl born with a rare congenital defect called “dipygus,” (small extra legs
between the normal legs caused by the body axis forking in the dipygus condition) has been given a
hope of survival in life through a rigorous surgery by doctors at Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Yola.
The baby was born in Konkol village with four limbs a situation that sparked off anxiety and fear
in the community of Maiha local government area of Adamawa state, with some residents calling the baby ‘spirit.’
The baby was later moved to the FMC for examination and treatment. Checks by our correspondent in Yola revealed that doctors are optimistic about her chances of survival while the
mother, Ramatu Mani is said to be traumatized.
Dipygus is a congenital distal abnormality defined as the presence of one or more arms or limbs between the two normal arms or buttocks of the
individual and it is an extremely rare malformation.
After surgeries to give her new life, the team of doctors led by a renown pediatric surgeon, Prof.
Awwal Abubakar, said that, “we are happy to report that the baby is doing well.”
Abubakar said that the surgery which lasted about two hours involved a team of other doctors,
surgeons, and nurses, and was an accomplishment for FMC efforts.
“The infant is recovering but will require periodic monitoring as she grows,’’ he noted.
While advising people to report such birth defects to medical experts and not to attach superstition, the surgeon explained that dipygus is a birth defect involving limbs (a type of dysmelia) in which the affected individual has more than the usual number of limbs or arms and the extra limb is most commonly shrunken or deformed.
“We need to actually sensitise our communities to accept that this problem will be tackled and those
babies are going to live normal life. So there is no need to deny them access to good medical care,’’ he
said. Abubakar commended management of the FMC for
shouldering the surgery expenses.
Father of the yet to be named baby, Malam Mani Ladu Margi, praised Almighty Allah for saving the life of his first child as according to him, “I am short
of words but praise be to the Lord for saving the life of my only baby.
Earlier, the FMC Chief Medical Director, Dr. Aliyu Danburam, said that in a bid to assist those in need,
the centre introduced social welfare unit and manychad been assisted.

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