Ghana: Popular belief says children born ‘with deformities’ must be killed

Three-year old John the Baptist, who hails from Gnani, a community in the Yendi Municipality of the Northern Region, was born with a vein defect.At the age of two, John’s parents wrapped him in white cloths and left him beside a public refuse dump. His condition was bad because his neck and legs were fragile and could neither sit nor stand due to the vein defect.John’s situation was not different from four-year old Makpato whose parents decided to kill her due to her inability to talk at the age of three.

What John and Makpato passed through is unfortunately the ordeal many children who are born with defects are subjected to in communities such as Saboba, Wodando, Zabzugu, Tatale and Bimbilla. The common belief among some communities in the North is that children born with deformities are “spirit children” who are evil or a taboo to be sheltered and catered for. Read more here.

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