Doctors in India say they are stunned after a woman gave birth to a baby with three heads despite undergoing a normal pregnancy.
The rare birth defect, called an encephalocele, was seen at a health centre in Etah in the country’s Uttar Pradesh district on July 11.
Doctors were left in shock when the woman from Pilua, a nearby village, gave birth to the baby girl who has two large protrusions formed from the back of her skull. She was admitted after suffering extreme pain in the build-up to the delivery.
Bijji Thakur was present at the birth. He said: ‘The girl child had three heads. She looked like an alien.’
Because the centre lacked proper medical facilities, the girl has now been referred to the District Hospital in Etah where she will undergo an MRI, giving doctors detailed images of the inside of her body.
Rajesh Thakur, Chief Medical Superintendent at the Etah District Hospital, said doctors would separate the ‘heads’ after the MRI.
Although rare, numerous cases of Encephalocele have been reported, especially in Africa.
The defect is caused by part of the skull not forming properly.
Babies diagnosed with encephalocele have a 55 per cent although the condition can also lead to other complications.
Approximately 75 per cent of these infants who do survive have varying degrees of mental deficit.
Earlier on March 4, an expert team of neurosurgeons at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) successfully operated on an infant with two heads.
According to reports, the father of the newborn had tried to bury him alive, fearing he would not be able to afford his treatment.
He was rescued by police near Nowhatta town in Jammu and Kashmir.
Doctors were able to separate the abnormal brain from the normal brain, along with skin after three-hours of laborious surgery.
The baby was later adopted by his uncle.
In yet another instance, a five-month-old infant, suffering from occipital encephalocele, was given a new life after the giant protrusions around his head were removed following surgery in Sapthagiri Hospital in Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka state.