University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) Thursday presented alive to the public a set of separated hitherto conjoined twins.
The successful separation of the conjoined twins by the institution’s team of experts was done despite dearth of equipment at the hospital, it was gathered.
Addressing reporters in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, UITH Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Abdaullah Yussuf, attributed the feat to the doggedness and determination of the 66-membered team.
Prof Yussuf linked frequent medical tourisms abroad by some Nigerians to the menace of obsolete and absence of equipment in many public hospitals in the country.
Said he: “You are here to celebrate with us one of the milestones we achieved in the last few days. This was the separation of conjoin twins by this hospital. This was done by a team of experts in the hospital ably led by a pedantic surgeon.
“Today we are witnessing another breakthrough in this hospital and we are very grateful to God for making this thing possible. We are also grateful for those who have contributed so immensely to the success of the operation especially by the Kwara state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. The governor supported the procedure by giving us substantial amount of money and that actually propelled us to be able to achieve the feat.
“When this Covid-19 pandemic subsidies we may have to take the baby to see him as he placed major role in the operation. It is our aim that this hospital is planning to be part of global players in the provision of quality and standard healthcare services because we have the human resources that can take us there.”
On dearth of equipment, the CMD said “it is not peculiar to UITH alone. It is a general phenomenon in many institutions like ours. Some of our equipment have gone obsolete.
“Everybody knows that government alone cannot handle healthcare alone. We need the assistance of philanthropists, donor agencies, international organizations and others. We recently got some equipment from government and donor agencies but they may not be enough for all challenges.
“The non availability of equipment in our hospitals has been responsible for medical tourism. We want to curb this medical tourism because most of the health challenges our people have been going outside for can be done here. One of them is this. Ordinarily these babies would have been taken to India, United Kingdom or United States.”
Describing their feat, the team leader Prof Luqman Abdul-Rahman “ssaid twins before their separation were joined on the chest and abdomen at presentation. They came here at about 12 hours of age following an emergency caesarian section of delivery at New Bussa, Niger state. We thank God that we have been able to go through several sessions of care in getting to this stage.
“However, the conjoined twin management team actually had challenges in caring for these babies; we thank God that we overcame all and we are presenting live babies to you here today.
“In the history of this hospital, this is the third set of conjoined twins between 2005 and now. The 2005 conjoined twins were lost after fifth day of admission because one of them got compromised and they had an emergency separation but they did not make it. In 2016 another set also had an emergency separation after about 10th day on admission but they did not survive. But we thank God that this set had survived all the rigours and are alive today.
“The peculiar problems we have ever experienced at this centre and many other institutions are that we don’t have the facilities to manage them. Not the manpower. We don’t equipment. We don’t have basic things in the neonatal care unit. We adapt adult equipment to manage children and that has been a great challenge.
“In fact, in putting up the team for the separation we had everybody. We had 16 multidisciplinary groups working together to make 66 members.
“When they came initially we had the problem of even investigating them to know where they are joined. We only managed and they survived in spite of us many because we are no able to do the basic minimum to help them out. Please help us to help more babies.
“It is not these babies, we have many other children coming with congenital anomalies and many other problems that need these facilities we are lacking to survive.”