- Recently,YEN.com.gh interviewed a 20-year-old mother who recently gave birth to a baby with the rare disorder
- The family is struggling and has even asked the Health Department to assist them with bills due to the baby's disorder
- Medical experts have revealed that the genetic disorder of Progeria results in infants ageing at a much faster pace than normal
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According to medical experts, Progeria is a genetic disorder that causes infants to grow very old at a much faster rate from birth.
In Libode just outside of Mthatha in the OR Tambo region, on 26 June the family of Mtshobi saw themselves giving care to their infant, who was born with Progeria, and life has since been intense in the family. There is confusion as this is the first time such a situation has been encountered in this family and they have no answers about what the trigger could have been.
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The grandmother Ntombizakhe Mtshobi, who is 55 years old, says that this is so hard to accept. It's never been seen before that a two-month-old baby looks this old.
"We have become a laughing stock in the community, I have so many kids and I am not employed and now this happens."
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She says that the only question she has is how will the child grow up to be?
"When I hold her, I burst into tears," in the words of the devastated grandmother.
When YEN.com.gh spoke to the mother, who is 20-year-old Ongeziwe Mtshobi, she says that she wishes that the government would take this child away.
"This is my first child, I expected a baby that will make me happy, I don't know how I will live a life with a child that is already looking this old at two months."
Ongeziwe says she needs mental counselling and psychological help to be able to deal with this.
Her two-month-old baby, Onesipho, which means "the gifted one", is already an outcast in the community, compared to something that is not human, yet her name carries so much weight and volume.
Her child was given a home birth and only recently Onesipho had to be taken to a hospital for procedural medical observation after birth. It was only then the Libode community learnt of the condition known as Progeria.
Mr Petros Majola of Khula Community project, a leader in the fight against human inequality and human rights in the Eastern Cape, shared in a video clip that he is urging communities to embrace uncontrollable conditions such as that of Onesipho.
"Pour people continue to be victims of prejudice and not being taken into much consideration," he said.
Doctors say that the condition can unfortunately not be cured but through medical observations it can be monitored, through checking whether the heart and blood vessels are healthy.
The community is calling on the health department to intervene as Progeria requires intensive medical attention for the child.
YEN.com.gh previously reported that, a young Ghanaian single mother who lives at Likpe in the Volta Region has recounted how her four-year-old daughter became disabled mysteriously.
In an interview sighted by YEN.com.gh on the Instagram handle of bonesmantv, the woman said it all started one fateful night when they returned from weighing and the child was crying profusely.
The next day, she realised the girl's legs had deformed and since then, the little girl has been unable to walk on her own or even sit properly due to the condition.