Zimbabwean paediatric surgeons successfully separated conjoined twin girls born three months ago, in an incredibly complex 18-hour operation at the children’s wing at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital in Harare.
Anotidaishe and Atipaishe were joined at the abdominal-pelvic region, sharing a liver and some parts of their intestines, making the operation exceptionally complex.
In a press statement, Sally Mugabe Central Hospital said the hospital was happy to announce that its teams of healthcare staff had managed to successfully separate the conjoined twins on 23 February at the age of 73 days.
“The procedure took a gruelling 18 hours to accomplish and both babies are in a stable condition with one of them fairing much better than the other,” said the hospital.
The conjoined twins were born at the hospital and their parents are smallholder farmers from Banket.
Zimbabwe broke new ground in its medical history by successfully performing the first major operation on conjoined twins in July 2014 with a team of 50 having worked on the eight-hour procedure at the same hospital.
The twin boys christened Kupakwashe and Tapiwanashe, born in April 2014, were joined from the lower chest to the upper abdomen and shared a liver.
The successful separation was conducted on July 1, 2014 by a team of local doctors led by specialists from the University of Zimbabwe’s College of Health Sciences.
Zimbabwe has had documented cases of conjoined twins since independence and only one was referred outside the country, while in two instances the babies died before surgery.
In 2005, conjoined Zimbabwean twins were successfully separated in Canada.
In 2009, a Tsholotsho woman gave birth to conjoined twins, but they died a few days after birth when Mpilo Central Hospital failed to secure enough human resources and funding to operate on them.