National Hospital, Abuja separates conjoined twins

National Hospital, Abuja separates conjoined twins

The twins before separation

ABUJA – There was palpable excitement in Abuja, on Tuesday January 7, as the National Hospital announced the discharge of its first successfully separated conjoined twins after 16 months in the hospital.

The conjoined twins named Goodness and Mercy, born  in Keffi, Nasarawa State and joined in the chest and abdomen were successfully separated in a 22 hour surgery performed by 78 specialists in the hospital.

At a press briefing addressed by the  Health Minister, Dr Osagie Eh6anire, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora and the hospital’s Chief Medical Medical Director, Dr Jaf Momoh, the minister said it was  first surgery of the type done in the hospital  saying the achievement would make the realm of advance surgery in the country.

“I am happy that we have good news coming from a Nigerian hospital and in this case, we do not need to rush them abroad for surgery; it is a case of home grown surgery.

“I commend the team lead by Prof. Emmanuel Ameh, Chief Consultant Pediatric Surgeon and other specialists that separated the twins. I salute the strong complement of highly trained committed personnel who have shown, not only their individual expertise in medicine but the extraordinary ability for seamless teamwork that made this intricate level of advanced surgery possible.”

The minister observed that the  children had to be nurtured from birth to stable size by the medical team before the surgery was carried out. According to him, the surgery which was successfully done on November 12th, 2019, followed a detailed plan, dedication of the team, excellent work and support of the hospital management.

“In a remarkable operation that followed very detailed planning and preparation, a mixed team of paediatric, plastic and cardiothoracic surgeons, led by Prof. Ameh, performed the operation to separate the twins. It was the first successful operation of this type at this hospital and it marks a bold venture into the realm of advanced surgery.”

Dr Ehanire pointed out that the successful outcome of the surgery was due to the availability of top experts at National Hospital Abuja, their dedication to the profession, the careful planning, the excellent teamwork and administrative support they received.

Mrs Maria Martins and husband Michael with the twins during the press conference

“These beautiful girls of Benue State origin, aptly named Goodness and Mercy, and the proud parents, are beneficiaries of a healthcare system when it functions as it supposed to. In this case, the management team has demonstrated that our health system, even with modest resources, can rise up to the highest challenges and offer quality care, to find its position among renowned international hospitals.

“I urge all hospitals in Nigeria to also aim higher and emulate this team. The government shall continue to invest in people and strengthen institutions and systems, in this case, tertiary hospitals and our healthcare system,” the minister said.

Also speaking, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Minister of State of Health attributed the success of the surgery to God and the team spirit demonstrated by the surgical team.

Mamora said medical professionals and health care experts needed to be encouraged to do more, urging them to do more to address other surgical problems.

In her remarks, Dr Mariya Mukhar-yola, Chief Consultant Pediatrician, Head of Neonatalogy said the babies (girls) Goodness and Mercy were received and they found to be conjoined at the thorax and abdomen.

Mukhar-yola said the combined weight of the babies was five kg when they were received.

“Major activities prior to surgery included infection control, feeding, fluid therapy, immunisation, monitoring growth and development and controlling crowd,’’ she said.

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