Gokwe village, in northwest Zimbabwe, recently witnessed a very unusual event where a woman identified as Precious Nyathi, gave birth to a ‘frog-like creature’, which so far no medical explanation has been given for it.
36-year-old Precious Nyathi was eight months pregnant when she went into labour, and her husband, Mr Nomore, was left baffled when she gave birth to ‘something strange’ which resembled an amphibious creature.
Though the baby later died in hospital, the villagers were horrified when they saw the ‘frog-like creature’ and the village elders ordered that its corpse be burnt in front of residents. Zimbabwean local media reports that despite receiving medical attention, the baby later died at Gokwe District Hospital.
Zimbabwean local media reports that despite receiving medical attention, the baby later died at Gokwe District Hospital.
Narrating the ordeal, 39-year-old Mr. Nomore, 39, said: “I rushed home and was shocked to see a frog … that my wife had delivered. At the hospital, they confirmed she went into labor but we are equally shocked.”
Mrs Precious Nyathi describes the experience as ‘hellish’ which would forever haunt her life, adding that she was expecting a child but the heavens gave them differently.
The distraught couple took their baby home because they wanted to seek advice from ‘village elders as well as their local chief’. Village chief Njelele said hospital authorities were unable to explain what had happened.
Confirming the birth, the hospital spokesman said: “She was our patient who would come for routine reviews together with other pregnant women.
We were shocked when she visited the hospital in the company of her husband and some neighbours saying she had delivered a frog.”
A medical expert has opined that the woman could have been a victim of anencephaly, a condition which results in the baby being born without the skull and brain and which affects one out of 10,000 babies.
However, Precious Nyathi’s baby seems quite unlikely as a case of anencephaly. Anencephaly which is a serious birth defect is a type of neural tube defect (NTD). As the neural tube forms and closes, it helps form the baby’s brain and skull (upper part of the neural tube), spinal cord, and back bones (lower part of the neural tube).
It occurs if the upper part of the neural tube does not close all the way. This often results in a baby being born without the front part of the brain (forebrain) and the thinking and coordinating part of the brain (cerebrum). The remaining parts of the brain are often not covered by bone or skin.
The causes of anencephaly among most infants are unknown. Some babies have anencephaly because of a change in their gene is a part of DNA (the genetic instructions in all living things). People inherit one copy of each gene from their mother and one copy from their father. The genes that a person inherits from his or her parents can determine many things, like what a person will look like and whether the person might have certain diseases.
Chromosomes are the parts of all cells in the body that contain the genes. It might also be caused by a combination of genes and other factors, such as the things the mother comes in contact with in the environment or what the mother eats or drinks, or certain medicines she uses during pregnancy.
Last month, a case was reported of a 22-year old Indian woman who the Indian Supreme Court granted permission to terminate a 24-week pregnancy on the grounds of anencephaly disorder.
The woman was allowed to abort the foetus which was diagnosed with anencephaly. The court ruling came after doctors at Mumbai’s KEM Hospital said the foetus was malformed and would not survive without the skull, as well as posing a risk to the mother’s life.