India’s First Harlequin Baby

India's First Harlequin Baby 1


The first Harlequin baby of India was born. Named as the Harlequin Baby, the female infant was born with the genetic disorder and no skin, is blind although has two red bulges in place of eyes, no ears, and an overturned eyelid.



“Harlequin ichthyosis is a very rare severe genetic skin disease. In such cases, the child’s whole body is encased in an ‘armor’ of thick white plates of skin, separated with deep cracks. Also, the eyes, ears, private parts and the appendages may be abnormally contracted.”  Said Dr. Avinash Banait, a member of the team of doctors that performed the delivery.


The baby was born to a farmer in Nagpur and was the first of its kind in India. One in 3 lakh babies gets affected by this disease. The first of its kind was born in April 1750 in South Carolina, US. Nusrat Shaheen was born in 1984 to a Pakistani woman, and four of her children had the same disorder. Another child was born in 2013 in South Africa.



The baby was born with this hard cover with cracks and no skin which exposes its internal organs and creates high chances of catching infections and therefore low life guarantee. Usually, the disease is detected during the 4-5th month of pregnancy during ultrasounds. The doctors usually prescribe termination of the fetus. But in this case, the family is below the poverty line. Hence, pre-delivery checkups and ultrasounds were out of the question. The mother has not yet been informed about the condition.


The baby was born in Lata Mangeshkar Hospital and is under medical supervision. She was in NICU and is being attended by a team of Medicos, who are running some tests and investigations on the condition.

Unfortunately, the baby couldn’t survive.

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