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Taichung hospital gives Nauruan baby new life

Taichung hospital gives Nauruan baby new life

Taipei, March 21 (CNA) A five-month-old Nauruan baby has been given a new lease on life by doctors at Taichung Veterans General Hospital, who succeeded in correcting a congenital spinal deformity and other problems after a month of surgeries. The baby boy, identified only as Aremwa, was born with a condition known as spina bifida, a developmental spinal disorder, and also had a 10-centimeter congenital cyst in his spinal cord, neurosurgeon Chiang Ming-zer said Thursday. The cyst would have caused severe infection if it had ruptured, Chiang said. In addition, the infant was also suffering from congenital hydrocephalus, an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid on the brain, and was not able to sleep on his back because of pain, the doctor said. After a month of successful surgeries, Aremwa is recovering well and will return to the South Pacific country of Nauru soon, Chang said. The infant's post-operative medical care will be handled by a team of doctors from the Taichung hospital, stationed in Nauru, he said. Nauru is one of about a dozen diplomatic allies of the Republic of China (Taiwan). It was discovered before the baby was born that he had hydrocephalus, and the spinal deformity became evident at birth, but the hospitals in Nauru lacked the MRI equipment that would have allowed for a precise diagnosis, according to Chiang. Aremwa and his mother came to Taiwan in February under the terms of a 2011 memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Taichung hospital and Nauru's Ministry of Health, and Nauru will pay most of the medical costs, the hospital said. (By Huang Chin-kung and Jamie Wang)


Updated : 2021-02-27 15:37 GMT+08:00