A woman in a north-eastern town in Egypt gave birth to a baby boy with only one eye in the middle of his forehead and no nose, features typically associated with a rare congenital disorder known as cyclopia.
The birth defect cyclopia occurs when the embryonic prosencephalon (forebrain) of the unborn child fails to properly develop two cavities for the orbit of the eyes. The condition is named after the one-eyed giants of Greek mythology known as Cyclopes.
Doctors at the private hospital in El Senbellawein where the baby was delivered said that children with this condition often pass away shortly after they are born because of other congenital defects such as severely malformed hearts.
The physicians believe the child's deformity could have been caused by a combination of factors, including medicines taken by the boy's mother or radiation exposure during her pregnancy.
Dr. Ahmed Badruddin, the baby's attending physician, said that the boy was born with several other physical deformities on his young body and they only expect him to survive for a few days.
Members of the newborn's family, who are now undergoing counselling, have released the heartbreaking photograph of the child.
Cyclopia is known to occur as often as four times in every 1,000 births, but in most identified cases, the mother's pregnancy does not reach a full term.
This rare congenital defect is more commonly observed in animals.
Two other babies were born with symptoms of cyclopia within the past ten years.
In 2011, a 34-year-old woman in India gave birth to a boy through caesarian section, with the baby exhibiting physical deformities associated with cyclopia. The child did not have a nose and only had one eye.
During her pregnancy, Veena Chavan, the child's mother, was informed by her doctors that the infant she was carrying was hydrocephalic, which meant that water was accumulating in the boy's brain.
The staff members of the hospital wanted to conduct an intrauterine shunting procedure but were not able to because of the advance stage of Chavan's pregnancy.
The boy only survived for one day following his birth.
Another cyclopic baby was born in the India city of Chennai in 2006. The newborn girl, however, reported survived despite her condition and she was later taken home by her parents.