Fred Ezeh, Abuja
A set of conjoined twins, Hussana and Hassana, who were successfully separated by a team of medical professionals from the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Keffi, Nasarawa State, have been discharged after 15 months in the hospital facility.
The conjoined twins were born on April 4, 2019, at a hospital facility in Nasarawa State, but were referred to the FMC Keffi, where they were found to be joined at the abdomen and rib cage. It was also discovered that they shared a common liver, subcutaneous tissue and skin with fixed xiphisternum and cartilages of 10th and 11th ribs.
On August 13, 2018, another pair of conjoined babies were delivered at the same FMC Keffi but were quickly referred to the National Hospital the following day, on account of being co-joined at the chest and abdomen. They were separated by a team of medical professionals in 12-hour surgery.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, who received the twins, their parents and the team of medical professionals that operated the surgery in Abuja, on Tuesday, said: ‘Hitherto, separation of conjoined twins used to be a phenomenon that often took place in the medical practice of the first world. But here we are, announcing 100 per cent operation carried out by an indigenous medical team.’
He commended those involved in the great feat, thanking them for elevating Nigeria’s medical competence profile, and also expressing optimism that soon, with the right encouragement, Nigeria will be a destination for medical tourism.
The Minister said: ‘We achieved this success because we worked together. As we have always said, we have some of the best trained medical personnel anywhere in the world. Our institutions are strong and viable, and with the needed encouragement they can be ranked among the best in the world.’
The Medical Director/Chief Executive, FMC Keffi, Dr Yahaya Baba Adamu, in his remarks, explained that the extensive preparation for the separation involved a multi-disciplinary team of over 50 medical experts, notably, Paediatric Surgeons, Plastic Surgeons, Cardiothoracic Surgeons, Anaesthetists, Intensivists.
Others are Paediatricians/Neonatologist, Laboratory Physicians, Scientists, Radiologists, Nurses, Pharmacists, Social Welfare Officers, Physiotherapists, Orthopedic Surgeons and several others that contributed in one way or another to the success of the surgery.
He said: ‘On July 10th, after a nine-hour long surgery, the conjoined twins were successfully separated with no intraoperative complications. They were managed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the post-operative events and outcome have been most satisfactory. As at today, the twins are doing well.’
Meanwhile, the father of the twins, 75-year-old Ukpo Okaa and the Mother Tasalla Okaa, expressed gratitude to the government and the team of doctors for their support and care towards ensuring that their children’s lives.