A Zimbabwe team of doctors and nurses made history early this month after successfully separating Siamese twins joined through their lower chests and abdomen.
The twins born on April 22 this year shared a liver. The eight-hour operation was done at the Harare Children’s Hospital.
The success story was showcased on Tuesday where journalists were invited to the hospital to see the twins who are still recovering from the operation.
First of its kind
Doctor Bothwell Mbuwayesango, the team leader, told journalists the operation was the first of its kind in Zimbabwe’s history.
“We did not get any help from outside the country and I would like to thank everyone involved from specialists to cleaners,” he said.
“I want to tell the nation that this work was done by Zimbabweans and no individual can claim success as this was team work.
“The operation was successful and the kids are now in the intensive care unit, they look happy and their breathing is fine.” The parents of the twins, Agnes Mongoro and Moses Chitiyo were elated about the successful operation.
“It was difficult at first but after counselling and information that there have been such cases in the country, we put it in God’s hands,” Mrs Mongoro said.
Mr Chitiyo, a vendor, said initially it was difficult to accept that his wife had given birth to conjoined twins.
“But from what I had seen in newspapers and what I saw when I got there, our babies looked better,” he said.
Health and Child Care deputy minister Paul Chimedza said the operation showed that Zimbabwe’s medical sector had one of the best professionals in the world.
“This is something that the nation should sit and take note of, that our professionals can stand head-to-head with other professionals across the world and do exactly what they can do,” he said.
“We have Zimbabweans across the world who are doing big things in Canada, United States or Great Britain but it is another thing when we do things here and especially at Harare Hospital.
It is commendable that we are doing things here.”
Zimbabwe has recorded very few cases of co-joined twins since independence in 1980.