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Relief as National Hospital performs successful surgery on co-joined twins

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Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora (left), Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen; Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire and parents of the twins, Michael and Maria Martins during the presentation of the babies to the public after a successful operation at the National Hospital in Abuja…yesterday.


The National Hospital Abuja has successfully separated twins who were co-joined on their chest and abdomen. Named Goodness and Mercy, the twins were delivered at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Keffi in Nasarawa State on August 13, 2018 and were referred to the National Hospital on August 14, 2018.

The surgery, which took about 12 hours to perform was carried out by a team of 78 medical personnel led by Professor Emmanuel Ameh on November 12, 2019. Briefing journalists shortly before they were discharged from the hospital yesterday in Abuja, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Jaf Momoh, said the surgery, which would have cost the parents over N20m was done free of charge.

Momoh explained that the twins were on admission at the Hospital for over 14 months for care and several diagnostic procedures to make detailed diagnosis that aided the planned surgery, adding that his attention was first drawn to their needs due to inability of the parents to meet some basic cost of admission.

According to him, the children had to first be nurtured to stabilise their 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.He observed that following the assessment of their social status, the family was classified as indigent after which management of the hospital decided to fund the care and entire processes leading to and including the major surgical procedure for the separation, as its corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Also speaking, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, noted that the surgery was the first successful operation of its kind at the National Hospital and it marks a bold venture in the realm of advanced surgery.He said most people believe that the country do not have equipment in its hospitals, stressing that this has demonstrated that with good management, coordination and focus, the nation’s hospitals could perform well.

Responding, Minister of State for Health, Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora who described the feat as a commendable milestone, noted that the successful separation of the twins gives hope that the Nigerian health sector could do well.On his part, Prof. Ameh said the surgery was capital and equipment intensive, saying he had a good team that worked together to make the surgery successful.

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