Karachi - Pakistani doctors at the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi are fighting to save the life of a baby born with six legs. The baby, the doctors believe, is one of parasitic twins.
The Pakistani news site The Nation, reports the baby was born last week in Sukkur, a city in Sindh Province in southeastern Pakistan, but was taken to the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi after it was born.
According to Jamal Raza, director of the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi, the baby's conjoined twin was born incompletely developed. This explains why the bigger twin appears a child with extra legs. Huffington Post reports Jamal Raza, said: “One of the babies is not fully developed giving the present physical structure to the baby.”
Huffington Post reports Raza explained further that they are planning to operate on the child and may need the assistance of foreign experts who have more experience with the rare condition that occurs in approximately one in a million births.
Raza explained the child's condition, saying that in strict medical terms, the baby does not have six legs, only two, and that the other four "legs" are the limbs of its conjoined twin.
Raza explained: "Operating on such a baby is not an easy task as proper assessments need to be done first. We need to figure out whether the baby has his twin’s limbs or his own. We also need to consider how much the internal organs have developed as the latter could complicate matters and decrease the baby’s chances of surviving."
The baby's father, Imran Shaikh, an X-ray technician, pleaded for help from the government and charities. He said: "I can’t afford to visit Karachi and get treatment for my baby. I appeal to philanthropists and the government to come forward for the treatment."
Daily Mail reports that since Shaikh made an appeal for help, the Sindh Governor has offered assistance and directed hospital officials to ensure the baby gets the medical attention it needs. News.com reports Shaikh said: "We are a poor family. I am thankful to the government for helping us treating my baby."
According to the Pakistani news site ColumnPk, Shaikh's wife is recovering from the birth and she is in good health. Shaikh said they are planning to name their son Umar Faroq.
Muhammad Qaisar, of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, said the boy could be successfully operated on. He said: "It is perhaps [the] first child in the history of Pakistan having six legs. The case will also be a test for doctors and we hope for the better."