Surge of malformities among newborns sparks concerns


CHARIKAR (SW) – An evident surge of malformities among the newborn babies has sparked concerns among the residents of Parwan, Kapisa, and Panjshir provinces.

Abdul Khalil Tawhidyar, a resident of the Tagab district of Kapisa, who is the father of a disabled child, told Salam Watandar that he had a consanguineous marriage, adding that this might have been the reason for his child’s deformity.

“Our child has the down syndrome. The children who are born in this way needs their needs be taken care of. On the other hand, try to give them a share in the housework to keep them busy. Two or even three generations later, this malformations may happen. Do not marry people you are relative to,” he said.

However, Aziz Aqa Azizi, a professor of medical sciences, says that excessive consumption of drugs during pregnancy by women and consanguineous marriages are important factors in the birth of children with disabilities.

Azizi adds: “I know some friends and rrelatives having children that are congenitally malformed… Some of them have unusually large heads, elongated eyes, wide earlobes.”

On the other hand, Lalagul Qaderi, head of the media department of Kapisa public health department, and Khwaja Aqa Ghafouri, deputy director of Panjshir public health department, confirmed the increase in the number of births of malformed babies, saying that the statistics recorded in the Ministry of Public Health also show that the birth of children with disabilities/ malformations throughout Afghanistan has increased.

Lalagul Qaderi says, “According to the registration book in the hospitals of the department of public health in Kapisa, from the year 2022 to the end of year 2023, some 17 cases of malformation have been registered in the hospital of this province as per the statistics that are recorded in the Ministry of Public Health.”

Khwaja Aqa Ghafouri stated in this regard: “Every year, 2000 to 3000 children who are newly born suffer from birth defects. Unfortunately, in the year 2023, we had a malformation case in Panjshir, and fortunately, no case was recorded in the yer 2024.”

Meanwhile, Abdul Khalil Haidari, the chief physician of Parwan provincial hospital, says that in the past two years, nearly 85 malformed babies were born in this hospital. The main reason for this is the consanguineous marriages, arbitrary use of drugs during pregnancy by women, and economic challenges, according to him.

“In the year 2023, there were 43 malformed children and in the yer 2024, it increased to 44. It is due to the effect of self-medication by pregnant mothers, people’s low knowledge, poverty, they do not go to hospitals in the right way. Family marriages cause birth defects in children. Public awareness should be raised, donor institutions should try to provide medicines that are necessary especially for pregnant women.

According to reports, 2,000 to 3,000 children with malformations/disabilities have been born in hospitals in Afghanistan.