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Child with male, female genitals operated on

by Staff reporter
22 Mar 2019 at 06:24hrs | Views
DOCTORS at Harare Central Hospital have successfully operated on a 10-year-old child from Tsholotsho who was born with both female and male sexual organs. The now "complete girl" (name withheld for ethical reasons), who had a rare condition called ambiguous genitalia or hermaphroditism, had a feminising genitoplasty surgery done last Tuesday.  

The surgical management was done by a team of paediatrician surgeons and paediatricians following a series of minor surgeries and several tests that commenced in October last year.

Doctors found out that the girl had an abnormal uterus which was very small for her age and an ineffective penis. Although her private part was also abnormal, doctors felt there was a better chance of fixing it and she chose to be a female.

A doctor who preferred anonymity said he was glad that the seven hour surgical procedure had been successful and the patient was recovering well. She has since been discharged from hospital to her home where she is still receiving treatment in a recovery journey.  

The doctor said: "The patient went through a series of tests, scans and x-rays, with the first being to check the hormones to see if they are male or female ones. This extended to more technical tests to establish ABC before anything could be concluded.

"A laparoscopy procedure was also done to examine the abdominal organs and it was noted that the minor had ovaries and uterus even though outwardly she had what looked like a male organ," he said.  The doctor said a decision was made that the patient must have a feminising operation.

"We will see her again after two months when everything has settled down in her body and we will do a final minor thing but in the mean time, we're almost done and all is well. She must be compliant with the prescribed medications," said the doctor.

He indicated that there are many children with a similar condition but they suffer the predicament of not affording the required tests and the medication that some may be required to take up such as supplements of steroids and hormones.

He advised members of the public that there are clinics at Harare Central Hospital and Mpilo Central Hospital that assist children in such situations.  Well-wishers donated about $4 500 for the series of operations to get rid of one of the organs. Another $988 was raised following an initial quote of $2 500 after specialists recommended more tests and medication that pushed the quote up.

Mr Frank Buyanga, the founder of the African Medallion Group based in South Africa donated $2 000, Zimpapers $1 500, while scores of other donors contributed a total of $988.

Mr Martin Makonese, a radiographer at Royal Arcade in Bulawayo, did free ultra sound scans for the child. During the process, the child also needed money for accommodation, food and transport with her grandmother while she shuttled between Bulawayo and Harare for the tests and operations. The money was also used to purchase prescribed medicines during and after the procedure, as well as several hospital bills.

The condition, the child's grandmother told The Chronicle, was affecting the youngster emotionally and physically. Shedding tears, the elderly woman said she had no words to express her joy and appreciation on the initiatives that were done to normalise her grandchild.

"Firstly I will thank the woman behind the whole miracle (this reporter). The woman who came into our lives in September last year, has worked hard in a way I never imagined a stranger would do. The woman sourced funds for the operation to happen.

"She led the way in everything, introducing us to the team of doctors who finally made things happen.

My grandchild, who is now a normal girl, is a happy soul right now and she can't stop starring at the already healing wound.  "The operation was a success and she is healing, we thank the Almighty," she said.

Source - chronicle