- Anesipho, the baby who was born in the Eastern Cape in June with Progeria, has tragically lost her life to the rare disease
- Her family said they were devastated by her death, saying they hoped she would be fine after health officials started closely monitoring her health
- Anesipho died on Wednesday, 22 September and will be laid to rest in the Eastern Cape on Thursday, 30 September
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By Akhona Mongameli - Freelance Journalist
EASTERN CAPE - A few weeks ago, Briefly News wrote about Anesipho, a newborn baby girl who was born with the rare disease Progeria on 26 June. It was a day that changed the life of her 20-year-old mother, Ongeziwe Mtshobi.
According to Raredisease.org, Progeria, or Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), is a rare, fatal, genetic condition of childhood with striking features resembling premature ageing.
Anesipho's birth made news headlines across South Africa and soon after the news of her birth broke, government departments worked on making the lives of the family better.
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The Eastern Cape Health Department kept a close eye on both the mother and child for observation before Anesipho was admitted to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital for better medical attention and care.
Sadly, on 22 September, the little girl lost her battle with Progeria, according to News24. According to medical experts, children born with Progeria rarely live long because of the severe health-related complications that they experience.
The hospital said an infection may have been the cause of her death, however, blood tests have been conducted to identify the kind of infection Anesipho suffered from.
A member of the family, Nomzi Mavangwana, spoke exclusively to Briefly News, saying funeral arrangements for Anesipho are already in place. She will be laid to rest on Thursday, 30 September.
"We were really hoping that Anesipho would be fine when the health officials took her in. We are so saddened by the passing of the baby," said a devastated aunt of Ongeziwe.
Mother feels devastated after giving birth to infant with Progeria
In a previous interview with Briefly News the 20-year-old mother said her family is struggling and has even asked the Health Department to assist them with bills due to the baby's disorder.
The baby's grandmother, Ntombizakhe Mtshobi, 55, said it was so hard to accept.
"We have become the laughing stock in the community, I have so many kids and I am not employed and now this happens," she said at the time.
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 Anesipho:
"Poor people continue to be victims of prejudice and not being taken into much consideration," he said.