A cardboard mask covers the eyes of a newly-born baby afflicted with jaundice in a government-run Fabella Maternity hospital in Manila, a day before World Population Day. [Representational image]Reuters

A six-and-a-half month old infant, Nitesh, weighing 5.5 kg underwent a rare liver transplant at the Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad.

The baby was suffering from a rare disease called Biliary atresia, which affects the liver and bile duct, resulting in the prevention of drainage of the bile juice to the intestines. Nitesh's liver transplant was conducted by a team of doctors led by Manish C Varma, chief transplant surgeon at the hospital.

The baby had developed jaundice just a few weeks after his birth. His parents first consulted local doctors at their hometown, Bhimavaram, and then got him to Apollo Hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe jaundice, which caused liver cirrhosis.

"The donor (father) was discharged on sixth day after surgery and the baby was discharged after 2 weeks of transplant. Nitesh will need immunosuppressants all his life, but his overall growth will be normal. There will not be any long term limitations to his growth, learning and life expectancy," Varma stated, Zee News reported. The transplant was carried out on October 13 2016, using a slice of the liver of Nitesh's father.

The rare ailment affects one out of 10,000 newborn babies. The symptoms of this disease are usually observed when the newborn turns two to eight weeks old.

Leaving this condition untreated affects the immunity system adversely, leaving the infant prone to infections and cirrhosis complications. It also leads to malnourishment, eventually leading to death within two years in a majority of cases.