His twin brother, who received a circumcision at the same time, was severely injured and fights for his life today in the ICU.
A 2-year-old boy died from severe blood loss after receiving a botched home circumcision on the outside of the city of Rome Sunday. The toddler’s twin brother had the procedure performed on him as well and is fighting for his life in the ICU. The brothers had the circumcision performed at a refugee center “in the north-western suburb of Monterondo,” according to BBC News.
The fatal circumcision took place in a nine-room refugee welcome center provided by the Italian nonprofit organization Arci. The refugee center is additionally run with the local council of Monterondo.
In Europe, rates of circumcision are low, and they are mostly confined to Muslim and Jewish communities. The twins were born to a Nigerian mother in 2017, and she reportedly has five other children back in Nigeria. Local town officials said that the mother of the boys asked that they be circumcised to honor “Nigeria’s Islamic traditions,” even though the mother identifies herself as Catholic.
Officials also said that the twins’ mother gave indication she was going to have them circumcised.
Antonino Lupi, the mayor of Monterotondo, weighed in on the event, saying it was “an absurd tragedy.” Mayor Lupi told the Daily Corriere Della Sera that “no-one outside the nuclear family is allowed to enter the building,” the Telegraph reports.
“Evidently, the mother took the initiative without telling anyone, otherwise it would not have been at all allowed,” the Monterotondo mayor said.
Approximately 5,000 circumcisions are carried out in Italy annually, according to the health charity AMSI. Foad Aodi, who is “the founder of the association of foreign doctors in Italy (AMSI) and Co-mai, an organization supporting the Arab community,” says that approximately 35 percent of circumcision procedures in the Mediterranean country are performed illegally.
Local police and prosecutors opened a murder investigation after the child’s death and are currently looking into the medical credentials of the doctor that performed the procedure. The doctor, who is believed to be Nigerian, reportedly called for emergency aid when the 2-year-old began severely bleeding.
The Rome branch of Arci released a statement Sunday regarding the child’s death and the grave condition of his twin on their Facebook page Arci Nazionale.
Arci commented, “We are shocked to learn of the death of a child and the serious condition of his twin in Monterondo.”
“The two children are hosted in a welcome [centre] that Arci has run with Monterotondo Council since 2009. It is a tragedy that leaves us speechless! We are anxiously awaiting a medical update on the second child,” the health agency continued.
Arci added they are waiting for judicial authorities to ascertain the truth. The organization also indicated in the statement that once it was determined who was responsible for the death of the 2-year-old boy, they would be pursuing civil legal action of their own.
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