A pair of conjoined twins from Arua have been put on palliative care only to relieve pain as they can not be separated say Mulago Hospital doctors.
“They were inseparable and medical teams agreed to give them palliative care and this was communicated to the family who understood that an operation to separate the twins was not possible.The father requested to take the twins back to Arua and they left Mulago Hospital, yesterday,” said Dr Ruth Aceng, the minister for health in a twit today.
Conjoined twins are identical twins joined in the womb during development. Often they share a body organ.
On Friday, reports circulated on social media that the twins were sent away from Mulago hospital because the parents could not afford to pay 5 million shillings and were sent back to Arua.
Dr Evelyn Nabunya, the executive director of the Mulago Women and Neonatal hospital says that the twins cannot be separated.
“The twins came to the unit. They have gone through a lot of assessment at no cost but unfortunately, they are not separable. At the moment they cannot be separated because of the way that they are joined. All the claims that the parents were asked to pay money are false. Some people obviously enjoy taking advantage of situations,” Dr Nabunya said.
According to documents the twins were born on September 20, 2019, by a C-section at Arua Regional Referral Hospital. Four days later, they were referred to Mulago National Hospital for better case management.
Dr Nabunya explains that the children could not be separated because their internal organs were not clearly defined.
“The twins were assessed by Neonatologists, paediatric surgeons and even underwent some radiological examinations to see what is happening. We discovered that nothing can be done for them because some of their internal body organs are not clearly defined. For instance, one of them has a stomach that ends blindly,” Dr Nabunya explained.
According to Dr Nabunya, the parents were informed about the situation of the children and they decided they wanted to go back home.
“We are about to discharge the twins and their family members on request of the parents who want to go back home and manage the situation from familiar environment,” Dr Nabunya explained.
The World Health Organisation shows that incidence of conjoined twins is high in Southwest Asia and Africa. It is estimated that they occur in 1 in 49,000 births and 1 in 189,000 births respectively. Approximately half are stillborn, and an additional one-third die within 24 hours.