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General News of Monday, 6 June 2022


Mother of 3 with rare medical condition seeks end to stigmatisation

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Mrs Olufunmilayo Israel, a single mother, has sought the support of well-meaning Nigerians to care for her three children with rare medical conditions.

In an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Monday, Israel, a vegetable seller and a graduate of the University of Ibadan, also sought for an end to the stigmatization for her children.

She said: “Taking care of the three children, diagnosed with Achondroplasia and four other normal children has been extremely difficult, especially since my husband left us.

“I am seeking social support for my children from well-meaning Nigerians and non-governmental organisations, because I want to take them back to hospital for care.

“We were told by medical experts at the University College Hospital (UCH) that the children’s condition is from the gene.

“We did not know initially as the first child did not show any sign until she was a year old and contracted tuberculosis at a creche.

“In the process of accessing care at the UCH her genetic condition was discovered, her hands are not straight and she has bow legs.

“After her, I gave birth to two other children with the same genetic disorder.”

According to Israel, this condition led to the separation with her husband, having spent lots of money and incurring huge debt.

She said that the children aged 12, six and four were highly intelligent, but the challenge in their physical growth had been a problem, thus the need for proper medical attention.

Israel further said that the stigmatisation as a result of the medical condition has led to suicidal thoughts by the eldest of the three children.

NAN reports that some medical experts at UCH revealed that the children’s condition ‘achondroplasia’ is the most common type of short-limbed dwarfism, a very rare condition with fewer than 10 thousand cases per year in Nigeria.

The experts said that while the condition could sometimes be hereditary, most cases of dwarfism are caused by a genetic mutation.

Prof. Adebola Orimadegun of the Institute of Child Health, College of Medicine and Principal Investigator of a Study on Stunting Reduction in Nigerian Children, however, said that the Isreal children could not be classified as stunted but short statured.

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