Monday, July 7, 2014

What?! These Parents Discover Their Baby Is InterSex When They Go For Female Circumcision

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8 days after Success Chisom Aniekwe was born a year ago in Anam in Anambra State, her parents took her to be circumcised. However, finding out that the baby is Intersex, meaning that she had both male and female sex organs, stopped the circumcision from being done.

After all the reports and campaigns via the news and even Nollywood movies, one would think female circumcision would be a thing of the past for new parents. But some Nigerian parents are apparently stuck to their traditional ways of doing things.

I'm dismayed that some people still believe that FGM has any tangible benefits in this day and age. The only good thing to come out of the ignorance of Chisom's parents would be that their child's intersex condition, also known as hermaphroditism, was observed early enough.

Unfortunately, due to lack of funds nothing has been done for over a year to streamline the baby's gender. Read on for the parent's account of Chisom's ordeal and how you may be able to help.

From the Sun

Recounting her predicament, mother of the baby, Mrs. Chekwube Aniekwe, told Daily Sun that the scan she did, while pregnant, showed that the baby was a girl. She, however, stated that her confusion started when the woman, who gave the baby its first bath said the sex organ was not pronounced. The confusion increased when the mother moved to circumcise the baby, as the family wanted to circumcise its female children.

“Eight days of the baby’s birth, we went for the circumcision, when the woman noticed that my baby had both male and female organs. When the woman wanted to cut her clitoris, she said the baby was not a girl. She advised us to go back to his hospital of birth,” she stated.

The confused mother of three explained that she went back to the hospital, where the medical director examined the baby.

She said: “When the doctor looked at the baby’s case, he quickly referred us to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. When we got there, we were made to understand that we needed to do some tests before surgeries could be done to correct the anomaly. At the hospital, a pharmacist directed us to Isolo General Hospital. On getting to there, they said they could not handle the case.”

The parents’ quest for solution did not stop there, as they also went to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH.

Mrs. Aniekwe said: “When we got LUTH, we were told surgeries were needed but would come only after some tests. We have not been able to do the tests because of lack of finance.”

“The last time we went to LUTH was in December 2013. At that time, one of the specialists told us that there would likely be two surgeries. We were also asked to do a hormone test to know whether the baby has womb, to know if another surgery would be added.”

Unfortunately, the couple has not been able to raise money for the necessary tests and, therefore, have not made further moves to save the situation.

“We made several attempts to raise money for the necessary tests but we could not and that is why we have not gone back to the hospital till now. Presently, we do not know what it would cost us to do the tests and the surgeries,” she stated.

The woman further explained her baby’s condition has caused the family a lot of pain and embarrassment. “I am being embarrassed by the problem of the baby. Everywhere, I go, people get confused, as to whether the baby is a boy or girl. Initially, I used to dress the baby like girl. I also pierced the ears and put earrings.

But as time passed, the baby’s look changed to that of a boy. People tell me my baby resembles a boy.

Within me, I know that there is a problem. It was when the face started changing to a boy that I started giving him a hair-cut and dressing him like a boy, even when the ears are pierced,” she stated.

Her husband, Emmanuel, described the case as a very serious challenge that has confronted the family. He, however, expressed optimism that surgeries, as doctors have recommended, would remedy the situation.

“I will be very grateful if I could be assisted financially, so that the surgeries would be done. The baby is always in pains and too tender to be undergoing such. We have been blessed with a baby and, therefore, should be happy parents,” he stated.

They would want all assistance to be made through Mary Jane Onyeulo, UBA Account Number: 2015879064 or call 08032398135.






2 comments:

  1. wait if the baby is turned into a girl they will still go back and try to circumcise the baby

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am the Director of the UK INTERSEX ASSOCIATION. We also have branches in 20 countries. Changing a baby from one sex to another is totally unacceptable. A male intersex infant will in most cases ilater dentify as MALE and a female intersex infant as FEMALE. Intersex is far more common that people realise. What could possibly be done in this case is to give the baby a limited course of testosterone o see if this stimulates growth in his penis (too much testosterone will limit his growth) and then when he starts puberty he can be prescribed regular treatment with testosterone. Contact UKIA at jhl@ukia.co.uk

    ReplyDelete

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