Beitbridge woman gives birth to conjoined twins

A 22-year-old Beitbridge woman has given birth to a set of conjoined twins at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo and they are set to undergo life-threatening surgery to separate them.

Conjoined twins are two babies who are born physically connected to each other.

Antonette Moyo from Beitbridge gave birth to Thoracopagus twins who are joined on the chest on December 1, through a Cesarean delivery (C-Section). 

In an interview with CITE, Moyo said the twin girls are currently admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). 

“The doctors are telling me that they are going to undergo a surgery, I don’t know when but I am eagerly waiting for them to be separated,” said Moyo. 

“The doctors are saying they are waiting for some results but it’s been long since I have been here, I don’t know what to do any more.”

Despite their condition, Moyo said the babies are doing well.

“My twins are okay and I breastfeed them after every two hours throughout the day and night, I am not able to get any sleep as I will be thinking about my children. The doctors haven’t even told me about any costs required but again I won’t even be able to afford. My only wish now is for them to undergo this operation. I am also appealing for assistance with diapers,” she said. 

Contacted for a comment, Mpilo Central Hospital acting Chief Executive Officer, Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said the twins will be referred to Harare for further management. 

“They are undergoing further tests and will be referred to Harare for further management,” said Professor Ngwenya. 

In addition, acting clinical director at the institution, Dr Xolani Ndlovu indicated that the tests will determine the extent to which the twins are joined.

“Conjoint twins, the word basically means they are joined anywhere in the body, there is no prediction to say a particular set of twins would have joined in which organ, some of them the organs will be joined, some of them will be just the chest wall that would have joined”. 

“These twins will be transferred to Harare because that is where we have pediatric surgeons who can deal with the case,” said Dr Ndlovu. 

He said he wouldn’t know of the cost as it’s been a long time since conjoined twins were born. 

Ndlovu also added that it’s difficult to predict survival as it’s difficult to predict from one set of twins to the other. 

The first Siamese twins to be successfully separated by a team of Zimbabwean surgeons in the history of the country’s health service was in July 2014. 

The two month-year-old twins were joined from the chest to the upper abdomen and shared a liver, this was a success for the country’s health service sector.  

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