By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has said that the successful outcome of the surgery of conjoined twins at the National Hospital Abuja has shown the availability of top experts at National Hospital and the country at large.
Speaking yesterday during a press conference to mark the discharge of the twins, Goodness and Mercy, from the hospital the minister said “the doctors demonstrated their dedication to the profession, the careful planning, the excellent teamwork and administrative support they received. 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.
“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.”
He said the success also showed that “as the Administration of President Buhari aims for grassroots universal health coverage, support for tertiary care to improve performance, is by no means lost.”
He recalled that the two lovely children who were born in Keffi, conjoined face-to-face at the chest and abdomen, and referred to the National Hospital Abuja 16 months ago.
“The children had to first be nurtured to stable health by a team of neonatologists, as medical imaging experts conducted tests and studies to determine what and how internal organs were shared or connected between them.”
On his part, the lead doctor, Prof. Emmanuel Ameh attributed the success of the operation to detailed planning and preparation, “a mixed team of paediatric, plastic and cardiothoracic surgeons, led 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.
“Twins are conjoined in the womb, when an embryo fails to divide completely during the formation, a condition that can present complex and delicate challenges to teams attempting separation especially when critical internal organs like the liver, heart and intestines are shared or connected.”
He said the team received all necessary financial and technical support from the management of the hospital to perform the operation.