Infant with diabetes gets a lifeline

State government to provide treatment for 24-day-old infant born with Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus, a rare condition occurring in 1 in every two lakh live births in the country

The State government has offered to provide help for life-long, if necessary, in the treatment of a 24-day-old infant, who was born with Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus (NDM), a rare condition and estimated to be occurring in 1 in every two lakh live births in the country.

The male baby was born in a private hospital on January 28 in Karimnagar where the paediatrician detected high blood sugar levels. The baby was then referred to another private hospital here for about 10 days before being admitted to Niloufer Hospital.

Lok Ayukta of Andhra Pradesh, Justice B. Subhashan Reddy, took up the case suo motu last week and directed the government to provide necessary treatment to the baby born to poor parents hailing from Mallapur village in Karimnagar district. He had observed that it was the fittest case for the government to intervene and said that the child should not be allowed to die simply because his parents could not afford treatment.

Head of Department and Professor of Neonatology at Niloufer Hospital, Dr. Hima Bindu Singh, said the baby was being closely monitored and insulin was being given intermittently either subcutaneously or intravenously. She said that to know if it was a transient or permanent NDM, blood samples were sent by air to Mohan Diabetes Centre at Chennai on Tuesday for molecular genetic testing and the report was expected in two months.

The baby would be kept at the hospital for the coming weeks and the family members would be trained in the meantime on how to monitor the condition and give insulin. The baby would be discharged only after the family members were confident of taking care of him. Endocrinologist, Dr. Jayanti Ramesh said NDM was caused by genetic mutation. He said in case it was temporary phenomenon, the child would recover in the coming months but it could recur again in adulthood.

Karimnagar DM HO, Dr. K. Nageshwar Rao said the parents of the baby were assured that government would reimburse the expenditure incurred on the treatment of the baby so far. He said even if insulin was required for life-long, it was possible for the government to provide. “After discharge, my health assistants would regularly follow-up at Mallapur village,” he added.