A woman in South Africa has given birth to a baby girl with a rare condition known as ectrodactyly, which is characterized by having split or missing fingers and toes. The 20-year-old mother from the Eastern Cape had been in labor, but the baby had not yet arrived. Due to this, the family opted for a home birth with the help of experienced close relatives such as the grandmother. However, as soon as the infant was born, the women noticed the unique features of her hands.
Rather than seeking immediate medical attention, the young mother was driven to the hospital in a borrowed van, where doctors were already aware of the situation. Upon delivery, the newborn girl’s unique appearance was immediately apparent, and she was quickly diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder known as ectrodactyly. A variety of physical and developmental challenges can accompany this condition.
Photos of the child went viral on social media, where many expressed their sympathy with her family, but there were also many who started to discriminate against her, labeling her as abnormal and an outcast. “If I could, I would take them all in!” – said the mother of the unique child.
Petros Majola, the director of Khula Community Development Project, a children’s charity, believes that communities need to be educated about this condition.
“The community should understand that the mother did not plan for her child to be born this way. There is no fault or condition in the woman that causes this kind of birth. People should embrace this child as she is,” says Majola.