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Kabul hospitals record 370 birth defect cases last year

Kabul hospitals record 370 birth defect cases last year

Jan 16, 2020 - 17:05

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Four state-run hospitals recoded 370 cases of birth defects in 2019, Pajhwok Afghan News finds.

According to medical information, birth defects are structural changes present at birth that can affect almost any part or parts of the body such as heart, brain and foot. They may affect how the body looks, works, or both. Birth defects can vary from mild to severe.

A Pajhwok Afghan News reporter visited four state-run hospitals in capital Kabul including Malalai Maternity Hospital, Istiqlal Hospital, Rabia Baklhi Hospital and Khair Khana Hospital to find out how many cases of babies with birth defects took place last year.

Dr. Shehrbano, in charge of childcare section in Malalai Maternity Hospital, told Pajhwok that 80 cases of birth defects were recorded, including two genderless, in the hospital in 2019.

She said 106 cases of birth defects were registered in 2018 but the cases reduced last year.

From 70 to 75 babies are born every day and most cases of birth defects were recorded in March and least in December, she added.

Dr. Jalil Wafa, head of the information department at Istiqlal Hospital, said they recorded 55 cases of birth defects last year, mostly in October and least in January.

Latifa Wardak, in charge of the childcare section of Rabia Balkhi Hospital, said that cases of birth defects increased last year, compared to 2018.

She said 164 cases were recorded in 2018, compared to 221 in 2019.

Dr. Shala, a childcare trainer in Khairkhana Hospital, said that 14 cases of birth defects were recorded in 2019 in the hospital.

Children born with birth defects also suffer from abnormality, which cause problems for their families.

Mohammad Nasar Malakzai, a resident of Roshan Mina area of Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, said his brother was born after him in abnormal situation.

“The head of my brother is bigger than normal, he also cannot walk properly and cannot talk well, only my mother serves him,” he said.

Dr. Sayed Ulfat Hashemi, plastic surgery professional in Cure Hospital in Kabul, said that genetic factors, illiteracy, using drugs without a prescription, early delivery, cousin marriages, not observing gap between births, poor womeninfo-icon’s nutrition, infections and conflicts were causes of birth defects.

He said first trimester of babies in their mother wombs were very important and the factors above could cause deformation during this period.

He said the Ministry of Public Healthinfo-icon should conduct public awareness programs for prevention of birth defects.

Hashemi said Spina bifida (problems in the spinal cord) and Hydrocephalus (bigger head) issues made most of birth defect cases in hospitals.

Sharafuddin Azimi, a psychology lecturer in Kabul University, said that birth defect issues usually caused by genetic factors.

He said children with birth defects suffered from their abnormality and later they faced mental illness. Families and other people should have kind to these children help rescue them from facing mental issues, he said.

Experts also believe that prolonged war and poverty in the country are main factors of birth defects.



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