S. Taleb was diagnosed with the condition called cloacal malformation, when Dr Amin El Gohary visited Yemen on a charity mission hosted by Burjeel Hospital’s parent company, VPS Healthcare. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A two-year-old Yemeni girl, born with a rare medical condition — in which her rectum, vagina and urinary tract were all fused into a single external opening — has been successfully treated in Abu Dhabi.

S. Taleb was diagnosed with the condition, known as a cloacal malformation, as a three-month-old, when Dr Amin El Gohary, consultant paediatric surgeon at Burjeel Hospital, visited Yemen on a charity mission hosted by Burjeel’s parent company, VPS Healthcare. This kind of a condition is seen only once in 50,000 live births.

Complex case

“This was a complex case. Taleb’s rectum, vagina and urinary tract were merged into one long exit channel when we first saw her. The child also had ambiguous genitalia that resembled a male child’s, so we had to conduct a chromosomal investigation, which helped us determine that she was a girl,” Dr El Gohary told Gulf News.

“She was having urinary leakage and abdominal bloating at the time. Since health facilities and medical equipment are limited in Yemen, we performed a simple colostomy to divert the stool and prevent it from contaminating her other organs,” he added.

Taleb underwent a three-hour procedure at Burjeel Hospital, led by Dr El Gohary, Dr Shahid Rashid and Dr Hamdy Aboutaleb. Image Credit: Supplied

Further treatment

However, this did not completely resolve her condition and Dr El Gohary continued to be in touch with the family. In May 2021, the little girl was finally flown down to Abu Dhabi with her family. She underwent a three-hour procedure at Burjeel Hospital, led by Dr El Gohary, Dr Shahid Rashid, paediatric surgery specialist at the hospital, and Dr Hamdy Aboutaleb, urology consultant. The surgery separated the joint organs so that Taleb would be able to have full control of her urine and bowel movements, and also so that she could have full reproductive function.

“We are grateful to the doctor and the hospital for their kindness and compassion. They helped us a lot. We do not have words to express our gratitude. The hospital had done everything, right from bringing us from Yemen to getting the right treatment. We will not forget this in our life,” said Mohsen Taleb, the girl’s father.

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Taleb is now recovering and after being discharged from hospital, has flown back to Yemen.

Dr El Gohary added that he had remained in touch with the family to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. “She is already doing extremely well and we believe she should also be able to have a normal reproductive life as an adult. As a doctor, I am happy that a charity mission enabled us to find and treat this little girl,” he added.