A baby –born without a nose who has lived for a year and eight months has shocked many in Ghana.
Ramatu Musa’s condition called Congenital Arhinia is a rare condition and just one of some hundred cases recorded in the world.
Doctors at the Mother and Baby Unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana where the baby was born reportedly had little hope she would live on after her birth.
Dr. Gyikua Plange Rhule, Consultant Pediatrician with the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital pointed out that Surgeons have advised that she grows a little more before any medical procedure can be successfully carried out.
She explained that “Basically she does not have a nose neither does she have any of those passages that you will usually use to breathe. For now we think that a lot of her breathing is through her mouth.”
“Obviously one problem is her appearance and it is possible to make her look better by doing some kind of a prosthetic nose. The more difficult thing is to construct a nose that she can use to breathe.
That’s really complicated and so far the opinion of the Surgeons is that we shouldn’t do it because it will probably be too traumatic, painful and stressful. The general consensus is that we leave her alone; let her grow a little older and then assess her again,” she added.
Musa has no home beyond the Mother and Baby Unit since her parents left her at the hospital unable to come to terms with her condition.
Benevolent hospital staff who have virtually turned into her family contribute to her feeding, clothing; diapers, medical bills and general up keep.
Beyond her developmental challenges, Musa also called Nkunim – a local Ghanaian name meaning victory, is a joy to the hospital; a bubbly and active child who roams the Mother and Baby Unit on her walker.
Her closest nurse; Edna Serwaa Boama told said the baby leaves a void in their hearts even on short visits for specialist care.
“She has become so much a part of us that when she is taken even for a short while to meet her specialists, everyone asks her whereabouts. It is the doctors and staff here who all contribute to taking care of her. Our director prepares her meals and brings them over to her every day,” Edna recounted.
The wish of Deputy Chief Nursing Officer at the MBU Patience Ehuron is to see the baby integrated into a home where she could be monitored and properly catered for.
“We want to monitor her and see what she will become in the future. Our major concern will be a home for her,” She beckoned.
The baby’s future still appears medically bleak. Her special case demands special monitoring which requires constant funds and close care.
That care rests on the donation of kind hearts; her only life supports to make her full days on earth.