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MNH to perform rare surgery   on conjoined twins today

MNH to perform rare surgery on conjoined twins today

MUHIMBILI National Hospital (MNH) will today perform a rare surgery to separate a pair of nine-month-old conjoined twins.

Dr Petronilla Ngiloi, a Consultant Paediatrician Surgeon at MNH told journalists in Dar es Salaam on Thursday that the conjoined twins were attached to the stomach towards the chest and also share the same liver.

She said the operation will be performed today at the hospital by 10 specialist doctors among them 20 Tanzanians and five from Irish and Bahrain.

The task will take 6 - 7 hours. This is the third time that such a surgery is carried out in the nation; the first was in 1994, and the second in 2018 involving two boys who are now three years and nine months old and live in Kisarawe District, Coast Region.

“The twins were born on September 21, 2021, weighing 4.9 kilogrammes at Maswa District Hospital in Simiyu Region. They live in Mwigwa Ward's Mwabayanda Village of Maswa District in the region,” she said

Dr Ngiloi further said the twins were referred to Bugando Regional Referral Hospital in Mwanza Region and then to MNH on November 12 last year, weighing seven kilogrammes, but now weigh 13.3 kilogrammes.

According to her, the ability to perform the surgery is attributed to the resolve by the management of MNH to strengthen the facilities required to provide such services, including operating rooms and intensive care units (ICU) fitted with modern equipment to perform such surgery, as well as to train specialists to provide the services at the level of expertise.

“In order to do this surgery abroad, more than 120m/- would be needed but carrying it out domestically will result in saving more than 50m/-,” she explained.

MNH Padeatric Surgeon, Dr Zaitun Bokhary said they have made all the necessary preparations including a panel of specialist pediatric surgeons, pediatric orthopaedic surgeons, liver surgeons, plastic surgeons, anaesthesia specialists, and intensivists.

“There will be 20 local experts and five foreign ones led by Professor Martin Corbally of Bahrain. External specialists are sponsored by a non-governmental organisation called Operation Child Life of Ireland,” she said.

“The babies will develop a large wound after the surgery due to the separation at the chest and abdomen, so to deal with it on June 1 this year they performed a minor tissue expander surgery to expand skin that will help close the wound immediately after surgery thus enabling the wound to heal fast,” Dr Bokhary added.

“In surgery like this, there must be two teams, each one with its own responsibilities.

So, as soon as they are separated each team will deal with one child to complete the surgery,” explained Dr Bokhary.

According to her, Tanzania is the third country to perform such a surgery in Africa after Egypt and South Africa.

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