A 10-year-old child from Tsholotsho who has both female and male se_xual organs is seeking $2 500 for an operation to get rid of one of them.
The child, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, is suffering from a rare condition called “ambiguous geni_talia” — also described as hermaphr0ditism.
The condition, the child’s grandmother told The Chronicle, is affecting the youngster emotionally and physically.
The Department of Rehabilitation at Tsholotsho District Hospital and the Tsholotsho Social Welfare Department discovered the child was suffering from the rare disorder in 2011 and have since tried to assist. The head of department at the rehabilitation centre, Mr Francis Mpala, said when they discovered the condition, they referred the child to a paediatrician at Mpilo Central Hospital who confirmed the child was suffering from ambiguous geni_talia.
A pathologist at Mpilo Central Hospital, said Mr Mpala, also discovered that the child was severely malnourished. “The child lives with a grandmother in a very poor background and suffers from malnutrition. The child was treated in 2011 at Mpilo Central Hospital where they realised an operation was required to correct the ambiguous geni_talia condition,” said Mr Mpala.
“This is a rare condition but the doctors confirmed surgery could be performed locally. The child needs a total of $2 500 after tests to determine which organ should be removed to leave one so that the child functions normally”.
The child’s widowed grandmother said the youngster was born with the condition.
She said the child did not seem to mind about her condition but “now that she’s growing up, it’s tormenting her and a solution has to be found.”
“This is a weird situation in society and as much as the child may not have been affected in the past years, the situation has changed. Friends and schoolmates are not aware of the condition but teachers are. This is affecting the child’s health because right now pu_bic hair is now growing and I shave it every now and then. My fear is more complications will arise and torment the child,” the grandmother said.
The mother went to South Africa and her whereabouts are not known while the father is also not known.
Well-wishers can contact Whinsley Masara on 0776 263 533 or Mr Mpala on 0776 450 919.
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