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MNH moves in to secure historic twins’ future

AFTER the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) conducted a rare successful surgery to separate a pair of conjoined twins, who were attached at the abdomen, the national facility has taken initiatives that will facilitate tracking of the twins’ development. 

The infants, Precious and Gracious were born on July 12, this year, in Kisarawe District of Coast Region and brought to the national facility on the same day after they were found to be anomalous. They underwent the rare procedure on September 10 which lasted for five hours. 

MNH managed to mobilise numerous stakeholders who volunteered to construct the family’s house, provide a ten year insurance cover for the infants and opening of a savings account to guarantee their future. 

Pediatric surgeon, Dr Petronilla Ngiloi said that the hospital took all the initiatives to ensure that the children’s health was secure and tracked after being released from the hospital. 

“There had been a similar case in 1994 when a pair of conjoined twins was separated but unfortunately one died 60 days after the surgery and we were able to track the other until the age of five. This time we want to keep track of the twins, as their surgery has put a mark in the hospitals history and we would like to preserve it,” she said. 

MNH Executive Director, Prof Lawrence Museru said that the national health facility will continue providing free services to the children until they become independent. 

He said during the entire period, since the children underwent the surgery, a team of medical experts have been making a close follow up on their health and where they came from so as to make sure that they will go to live in a safe place that will guarantee their survival.

The hospital has spent around 34m/- for treating the twins on the entire period they have been admitted, and this gesture is to ensure that their future is secured and all efforts done in saving their lives and treating them do not go in vain, he explained. 

“Our team visited their residence and it was satisfied that the environment where they came from was not conducive for them to live due to poor housing conditions and thereafter we came up with an idea of mobilising various stakeholders to support the family,” Prof Museru said. 

He commended the United Bank for Africa (UBA) for the support to build a house worth 16m/- for the family and provide a ten-year medical insurance cover.

He asserted that MNH will continue to be close and do follow ups on the twins after they are released from the hospital.

Speaking during the handover, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr Usman Isiaka said that UBA foundation has donated 16,080,000/- towards the construction of a two bedroomed house with toilet and kitchen facilities and provision of a 10 years NHS insurance cover for the twins, believing that this will enhance the living conditions post discharge.

“UBA took this initiative after hearing Ms Esther Simon, the mothers’ twins lamenting on not being able to provide medical treatment for the children,” he explained. Adding that, “We were further humbled and touched after visiting her at hospital where we were also notified that the mother and her children could not be discharged from the hospital due to poor housing conditions that would not guarantee the twins’ survival.”

Mr Isiaka added that UBA’s staff were also touched and raised an amount of 2m/- to go towards the upkeep of the twins and their mother, which will open a savings account for the children.

“Tanzanians are welcome to contribute towards the twins through UBA special U-care savings account 56010560001396 Gracious Michael Mkono and Precious Michael Mkono which is already open and will not have monthly charges,” he clarified.

He further congratulated MNH for being able to conduct such a surgery as it does not just happen but needs state-of-the-art technology and facilities and specialists, as well as their decision to care for the children after treatment is admirable.

The Kisarawe District Commissioner, Jokate Mwegelo, said that since the fifth phase government started improvements in providing services to citizens, what is witnessed at the handover is among the fruits of the improvements.

“We will guarantee that what is said today will be implemented and if met with any challenge then Kisarawe government officials will be ready to provide assistance. As this is part of the set history put by MNH of separating the twins,” commented Ms Mwegelo. 

Ms Simon offered her deepest appreciations to the doctors, nurses and the hospitals’ administration for their concern and kind treatment, together with everybody who contributed to her family’s welfare including UBA. 

Furthermore having heartfelt gratitude Mr Michael Mkono, the father of the twins could only utter two words, ‘thank you’.

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Author: MARY RAMADHANI

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