Friday, July 18, 2014

NIGERIA: "Girl" found to be intersexed at circumcision

Sun News Online
July 4, 2014

Baby born with female, male sex organs

by Gilbert Ekezie and Doris Obinna
When little Success Chisom Aniekwe was born one year ago, joy filled the hearts of his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Emmanuel Aniekwe, from Anam Community, in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State. He was a chubby baby, full of life.However, the baby’s birth took a twist about eight days thereafter, when it was discovered that he had two sex organs, male and female. Ever since, pain has become a constant companion of the baby.

Now frail, with constant pain, especially when urinating, which comes through what would pass for female private part, under a little penis, the baby has been in and out of hospital, where tests and surgeries have been recommended.

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

[So would that have been a cruel mutilation intended to destroy her sexuality forever, or a healthy medical procedure with lifelong benefits for every boy and man? Inquiring minds want to know.]

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.”

“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. ...

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