Bayelsa State health sector has been thrown into dilemma following the birth of Conjoined twins fondly called: Siamese twins to the family of Raphael Ayebaenaemi by his 24-year-old wife, Ebiyefa.
It was gathered that the conjoined twins were born through a caesarian operation at the Nembe General Hospital, Nembe Local Government Area, on December 12 at about 11 am.
The father of the twins told newsmen that the babies were glued at their abdomen, which required a surgical procedure to separate them.
Raphael said the general hospital where the Caesarian operation was carried out referred them to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Yenagoa, for further investigations and treatments.
It was gathered that the mother of the twins was also at the FMC receiving treatment after the operation.
The combined weight of the babies, first children of the family, was said to be 5.8kg at birth.
Raphael said following the referal, the twins were brought to FMC on Friday at about 5pm but were undergoing some medical procedures.
“I have no money, not even a dime. I am happy that my wife gave birth to twins but when I discovered that the twins were conjoined and they were born through a Caesarian operation, my heart skipped.
“But a youth leader, Gabriel Jonah, from our community came to my aide. He paid the money for all the hospital bills at Nembe and even gave us money to take the twins to FMC Yenagoa.
“We came to FMC on Friday, a day after the birth of the twins. The hospital placed them on drips and said they would carry out some tests. Nothing has been said about the surgery to separate them.
“We want the hospital to be fast about the whole thing so that the twins can get their freedom. We thank Jonah for coming to our aide and for volunteering to assist us more. But we are appealing to all our leaders and non-governmental Organisations to intervene and help us to get through this”.
But the FMC management said all its experts, consultants and doctors, were carrying out further verifications on the conjoined twins to ascertain the right and proper surgical process involved in their separation.
The Head Clinical Services, FMC, Dr. James Enimi Omietimi, said the hospital was making efforts to ensure the twins were in stable conditions as further medical examinations were being carried out.
Omietimi, who is a gynaecologist and obstetrician said a Siamese case requires proper planning and assemblage of a team of experts.
Explaining the situation, he said: “The children are stable as we speak. Our doctors and our consultant paediatrician, a professor of paediatrics, Prof. Kunle Olowu, has gone to look at the children. Even our consultant surgeon is working on the case.
“We are running some tests on them and more especially we need to know whether they share vital organs.
They are joined at the abdominal level. It is possible they are sharing intra-abdominal organ. This is not the kind of surgery that people jump in and start operating.
“The surgery is usually planned. It takes planning and a team of doctors and nurses are assembled to carry out this kind of surgery. So, it is not something to rush and start doing. I think the only case of this nature we have had in Nigeria was the one of Yola. I am not quite sure.
“It is not likely that we are going to do this surgery here in FMC because of the amount of expertise involved in planning and doing the surgery. We need government, NGOs and people who have experience locally and internationally to come into the matter, it is also capital intensive.
“Out basic problem right now is to ensure that the children are stable medically before we do anything. If it is something we can handle in our facilities and we need people to join us to handle it we will invite people to do it. If it is something that we need to refer to another facility whether in Nigeria or outside the country, we will do that too”.
Already, a group, the Timiore Sylva Support Organisation (TSO) said it would draw the attention of the former governor and Minister of Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, to the matter.
The Director-General, TSO, Wilfred Ogbotobo, said the matter required urgent attention from the Federal Government and commended Gabriel Jonah for assisting the family.
Ogbotobo said: The Timipre Sylva Support Organization (TSO) commends Gabriel Jonah for the timely financial intervention in the case of new born conjoined twins whose lives are in danger if no quick and proper surgical procedure is carried out to separate them.
“We have just heard about this medical complication at Nembe General Hospital, and were already working on saving the day when the news of jonah’s action reached us.
“We congratulate him for his efforts, they are patriotic and godly, showing the spirit of a true son of Nembe land.
“Our prayers and kind thoughts are with the parents and family of these babies. We assure them that the matter will receive a timely attention from His Excellency, Chief Timipre Sylva, Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and leader of APC in Bayelsa State, and his wife and family”.
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