The Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Yola has successfully separated another set of Siamese twins.
The Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Prof. Auwal Abubakar, said the two female twins were conjoined at the abdomen and successful separated during surgery which lasted for three hours.
Born through the caesarian section in Nembe, Bayalsa state, the twins were airlifted by the Nigerian Airforce plane and their parents in January to the hospital in Yola to undergo medical procedure to separate them when they were only a couple of weeks old.
But the surgery to remove them was delayed due to COVID-19 exigencies.
Prof Auwal told reporters during a farewell for the twins and their parents that the surgery which separated them was finally carried out on August 10.
“We were getting set to do the surgery when COVID-19 came. It was a new disease and we were learning to cope with it. Many services at the hospital were suspended and even to get certain consumables was difficult…
“The separation was done on the 10th of August and there was no problem at all. We discharged them from intensive care on the third day. They are fully okay,” he said.
He disclosed that a 48-member team comprising specialist surgeons, anesthetics consultants, nurses, technicians, among others, carried out the operation with aid of sophisticated machines, some recently donated by the Nigeria Liquified Gas Ltd (LNG).
On why the conjoined twins had to be taken all the way from the sister FMC Yenagoa to Yola, he said Yola has a recent history of successful Siemens twins separations.
“This is the third separation we have done here in Yola. We did two when I was in Maiduguri (Maiduguri Teaching Hospital).
“So this makes the fifth that my team has done. In all the five, I have been the lead surgeon,” he explained.
He expressed concerns the parents of the newly separated twins are jobless secondary school leavers and need assistance in the form of funds for business or employment or further education for one of them.
Meanwhile, the eight-month-old girls looked vibrant in the hands of their mother, Mrs. Ayebaekipreye Ebi, as she fielded questions from newsmen on Saturday.
She said the twin were born through cesarean operation on December 12, 2019, at the Nembe General Hospital, from where they were referred to FMC Yenagoa and subsequently to Yola.
The 25-year-old Ayebaekipreye said she and her husband, 27-year-old Ralph Raphael, were struck with apprehension when what they thought was one baby came out as two but joined together.
“My immediate reaction was ‘why me’ and I passed out and remained unconscious for three days,” she recalled.
She thanked the FMC Yola for keeping and feeding them these past eight months and giving separate lives to their children through the August 10 surgery, all for free.
She appreciated the Nigeria Air Force for lifting them to Yola and offering to take them back to Yenagoa now that they are set to return home.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who attended the farewell ceremony, said Abubakar and his team did a great job of separating the twin, adding that Abubakar deserves an award for his string of successes in separating Siamese twins.