By Goodluck Musinguzi

President Yoweri Museveni has added his voice in congratulating the medical team at Mulago National Referral Hospital for pulling off a 20 hour surgery that separated siamese twins.

President Museveni said he has been advocating for better pay of scientists so that they lead in innovations that will save Uganda of billion shillings spent abroad.

“I must congratulate our doctors on this no mean feat. This is why I advocate for better pay for our scientists. Congratulations and I wish the babies good health”, said President Yoweri Museveni

This followed after Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health announced the successful surgery to the country.

“A team of specialists at Mulago Specialized Hospital Successfully carried out a 20hr surgery to separate these Siamese twins. Thanks to the team.We continue to strive towards excellence in specialized health care”, said Dr Diana Atwine.

Thousands of Ugandans have joined Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health in celebrating a successful surgery that separated siamese twins at Mulago National Referral Hospital in the Capital City Kampala.

“A team of specialists at Mulago Specialized Hospital Successfully carried out a 20hr surgery to separate these Siamese twins. Thanks to the team. We continue to strive towards excellence in specialized health care”, Dr Diana Atwine tweeted.

Comments of praise started after her tweet was shared across different platforms around the country.

Hon Xolani Ngwezi ,Member of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa thanked the Doctors but asked whether they were Ghanaian Doctors. He was replied on Kigezi News facebook group that it was Ugandan doctors who did the wonderful work.

Hon Xolani Ngwezi later said he was happy to learn of the hard work that Uganda has produced in the medical sector. He thanked everyone who corrected him

The issue of siamese twins is not unique to Uganda, Kabale co-joined twins were separated in Egypt after the intervention. With Covid19 pandemic across the globe many countries are building their health sector capacities.

Grace Ackline said thanks for sharing the news. May God bless the specialists for the great service. Icant imagine 20 hours standing or bending or moving here and there. Its great sacrifice.

According to Dr. Charles Kiggundu, a consultant gynaecologist says, siamese twins are a result of one fertilized egg, which did not split completely to form two babies.

The babies, therefore end up joined at certain parts, sharing some organs.  “Separation of the fertilised egg takes about 65 days. If the egg has not separated completely by that time, the twins become conjoined,” he explains.

Conjoined twins are partly responsible for miscarriages and stillbirths in twin pregnancies. Kiggundu says about 50% of conjoined twins will make it to full term and when born, about four out of 10 are stillbirths. Those born alive may have abnormalities. 

The condition is common among girls and when born, they tend to have a higher chance of survival as opposed to the boys.  Different societies have contradicting theories to explain the origins of conjoined twins.

In the past, some communities would neglect the twins until they died. However, today there is increased awareness and people know that something can be done to help the babies survive. Besides, improved communication makes it possible for news to spread fast.   

“It is possible to detect it early, but only when a mother is attending antenatal care. Even with a midwife just palpitating, there is cause for suspicion when the baby is lying in an abnormal way in the womb.

Sometimes the babies are transverse (lying across the abdomen). Though conjoined twins may not be suspected, a midwife may refer a mother to a higher level health unit for further investigations,” Kiggundu says. 

 On October, 28, 2001, Margret checked into a health centre in Arua district to deliver her baby, however, she was immediately referred to a hospital after developing complications. To her surprise, she delivered two girls by caesarean section, and they were joined at the torso.

The twins, Loius and Christine, shared a liver and the main blood vessel that connects their hearts.  The issue of siamese twins is not unique to Uganda. There are many cases reported worldwide.  Siamese twins refers to babies born with their bodies joined in some way, sometimes sharing the same organs.

About Goodluck Musinguzi

Born on 12th March 1979 in Kabale district, South Western Uganda near the Rwanda and Eastern Congo Borders. Started Journalism around 1999, the Kibwetere inferno was a turn around. Entatsi newspaper and Monitor FM were interested in my stories. I covered extensively the Amama Mbabazi-Garuga Musinguzi Parliamentary elections extensively for Monitor Newspaper,Monitor FM, Voice of Kigezi and Entatsi Newspaper. Later I worked with Uganda Radio Network. Newvision gave me opportunity to cover War in Eastern Congo. Did investigation stories. Am now the Chief Executive Officer Kigezi News Agency Limited, we publish for a number of websites in Uganda.

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