KAMPALA – Mulago Specialised Women and Neonatal Hospital has said the conjoined twins from Arua cannot be separated through surgery because they share a number of vital organs and has instead advised that the twins be given palliative care.
The Deputy Director of the hospital, Dr. Jolly Nankunda issued a statement to that effect in response to an explosive post made by MP Bernard Atiku (Ayivu County) who accused both the Minister of Health, Ruth Aceng and Mulago National Referral Hospital for condemning the conjoined souls to death.
On his Facebook page this morning, Atiku alleged that the case of the two conjoined twins borne to a couple from Arua was referred to Mulago Hospital by Arua Regional Referral Hospital but the poor parents were asked to raise UGX5M before they could be attended to.
“The family unfortunately, could not raise the money and have been told to go back to Arua to wait for their [the twins]death. How heartless? Where is this country headed? Please join me in saving a life,” wrote Atiku who went ahead to start a fundraising drive for the family.
However, the Ministry of Health has spoken out on the matter acknowledging that the twins were referred to Mulago Referral Hospital from Arua Regional Referral hospital at 3 days of age having been delivered by Caesarean section in Arua and they arrived at Mulago National Referral Hospital casualty on September 25 at 3:00a.m.
Mulago further noted that on arrival, the twins were very sick prompting the medical team to transfer them to the Intensive Care Unit in Mulago Specialised Women and Neonatal Hospital.
“In NICU they were put on oxygen and warmth under radiant warmer which helped to improve their breathing and colour. They were noted to be joined from the thorax, abdomen up to the pelvis. They were sharing the abdomen with a common umbilicus and a tight omphalocele with no anal opening. The smaller twin had a severe microcephaly and the twins had fused pelvis with 3 lower limbs.”
Additionally, the hospital revealed that investigations exposed a number of abnormalities on the conjoined twins and that the twins had a single stomach and they were also sharing the bladder and liver. The smaller twin had a smaller heart with multiple defects. It was also noted that they were joined at the pelvis with imperforate anus.
Dr. Nankunda said, “The surgical team came to a conclusion that the twins were inseparable and they discussed with the medical team and agreed on palliative care for the babies. A family conference was held with the parents of the babies and the condition of the babies was explained. The parents understood that operation was not possible and the babies were to be kept on palliative care.”
The ministry quashed allegations made by Atiku that the twins had been abandoned by the hospital pointing out that the twins’ father signed acknowledgment that he had received an explanation on the condition of the babies and had understood that the babies were for palliative care.
Mulago Hospital added that the father immediately wanted to take the babies back to a facility near his home and requested for transfer back to Arua, “The parents and the babies left the hospital back to Arua on their request on October 3,” Nankunda wrote.