Milestone as MNH successfully separates conjoined twins

DAR ES SALAAM:IN another historic milestone, Tanzanian doctors at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) have successfully performed a major surgery to separate conjoined twins.

The twins were joined at the abdominal and chest areas, and this groundbreaking surgery marks the first of its kind conducted by local doctors in the country.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday this week, Director of Surgical Services Dr Rachel Mhaville highlighted the success of the surgery, attributing it to the substantial investment made by the Sixth-Phase Government.

Dr Mhavile said that the government’s commitment included the acquisition of modern medical equipment and the training of medical professionals that gives them the ability to conduct the operation in the country.

“What we take pride in with this surgery is that it was carried out by a team of local doctors and it has been a great success with the children recovering well. Despite the success of this surgery, we will continue to collaborate with other experts to further enhance our skills and strengthen relationships,” emphasised Dr Mhavile.

She added that they continue to learn from other experts from the United Arab Emirates and other nations to build the ability for the local doctors to be able to conduct different major surgeries in the country.

MNH Paediatric Surgeon Dr Victor Ngota explained that the complicated process of separating conjoined twins requires highly specialised expertise.

Dr Ngota said the surgery involved a multidisciplinary team, including specialists in paediatric surgery, corrective surgery, anaesthesiology, nutrition and radiology.

“We received these children on March 11, 2023. Both weighed 4 kilogrammes, and we initiated a process that involved various specialists relevant to their care. It took us approximately ten months to assess their overall health status before deciding on the separation procedure to gain insights into how they would fare post-surgery,” clarified Dr Ngota.

The surgery, which lasted approximately six hours, is not only the first of its kind performed by local doctors in the country but also the fourth such operation conducted at Muhimbili National Hospital.

The first was in 1994, the second in 2018, and the third in 2022. However, in 2023, the same kind of surgery was successfully done in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on twin boys Hassan and Hussein Saidi from Kifurumo Village, in Igunga District, Tabora Region.

The success of this complex procedure underscores the growing capability and expertise of local medical professionals in handling complex cases in the country.

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