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Boy with brain-outside-skull to undergo surgeries

A baby boy born with a rare medical condition in which his brain is positioned outside the skull will undergo two major surgeries to correct the deformity.

Brian Gitau, who was born on December 18, 2013, at Kinunga Health Centre in Tetu, Nyeri County, was abandoned by the mother after she realised that she had given birth to a deformed baby.

The baby was named Brian by staff at Consolata Hospital Mathari in Nyeri where he was referred soon after birth.

According to doctors at the hospital, baby Brian has multi-facial abnormalities with a cleft lip and bilateral palate.


This made the baby unable to suckle and doctors at the health facility have inserted a feeding tube from his nostrils to the stomach for this purpose.

The baby, according to the medics, was diagnosed with encephalocele, also referred to by its Latin name cranium bifidum.

It is a neural tube defect characterised by sac-like protrusions of the brain and the membranes that cover it through openings in the skull.

These defects are caused by failure of the neural tube to close completely during foetal development.

For baby Brian, the top part of the head that covers the brain was absent at birth, and now part of the brain hangs outside, with only a small thin membrane covering it.

However, according to doctors at Consolata Hospital, the condition can be corrected at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Nairobi.

Consolata Hospital CEO Bernard Muriithi on Sunday said the boy was taken to the facility the same day he was born at Kinunga Health Centre, which was ill-equipped to handle the condition.


Mr Muriithi said a plan to take the baby to Canada for surgery never succeeded and the hospital had to keep the boy and continue offering him specialised care.

The baby now weighs 14 kilogrammes but is immobile, said Ms Makena Kinoti, a nurse who takes care of him.

Consolata Hospital Mathari in Nyeri has to raise Sh2 million for the two surgeries.

“We are continuing to appeal to Kenyans that we need to close the gap between the required amount and the amount raised so far, and again we are making a compassionate appeal to medical professionals, especially neurosurgeons,” said Mr Muriithi.

SOURCE: Daily Nation