A baby girl born with facial deformation on August 27 has been reportedly starved to death by her distraught 22-year-old mother, Mariam Mwakombo. She allegedly refused to feed her newborn.
The incident happened in Kenya.
Reports said the baby was buried after being denied food for 10 hours, which led to her death.
Nairobi News reports that Mariam claimed she was scared to hold or breastfeed her baby.
Mariam’s uncle, Mr. Hassan Dzuya, said the baby had not been given anything to eat since she was born on Sunday morning.
Mr. Dzuya said, “We buried her outside our home to ward off bad omen associated with such kind of a child.”
According to the young mother, the baby was delivered at home since the family couldn’t afford a private hospital following the strike action by the government-owned ones.
“My water broke while I was doing my chores and she just came out. The pregnancy was in its seventh month. I never felt any pains during her birth. But on looking at her, we realised she did not have eyes. I was dumbfounded,” said the mother.
The baby was rushed to a private hospital, but they were referred to the largest hospital in the region, Coast Provincial General.
Mariam explained that the family had no choice than to return the baby home, since they had no financial means of getting to the big hospital that they were referred to.
She said the villagers and family members advised that the baby be thrown away so that the gods would determine her (baby’s) fate.
“The best we could do is throw her in a dungeon in a forest. I did not name her,” the mother said, adding that she could not breastfeed the baby “lest the omen falls on me.”
However, some medical practitioners suspected that the baby could have suffered anophthalmia. It is the medical term for the absence of one or both eyes, especially when they do not form during pregnancy.