Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: National Hospital Killed My Babies - Father of Conjoined Twins

Mr. Ahmed Sani, 38, father of conjoined twins that died at the National Hospital, Abuja, last weekend, has accused the management of the hospital of not acting promptly to separate the set of twins.

Sani, who narrated his ordeal to LEADERSHIP WEEKEND during the period the babies were in the hospital, said they were dumped in the hospital for four days without even a scan carried out on them or telling him how much was needed for their separation.

According to him, the hospital never made any attempt to save the babies' lives. He said: "When the babies were referred to the National Hospital at about 4pm on Thursday, January 3, 2013, the hospital demanded the sum of N20, 000 from us, which we gave to them. Later they demanded for toiletries for the babies, which we provided, while they asked me to go home, and that was on Friday. I went back to the hospital on Saturday.

They said they were carrying out some tests and that I should go and come back on Monday because even if I decided to come on Sunday, I won't find anyone to attend to me. So they demanded my contact which I gave them including that of my wife and even those of some of my relatives before I left.

"I went to the hospital on Monday and they apologised for not being able to reach me, claiming that all efforts to reach me proved abortive. That was when they told me that the babies died on Sunday."

Sani said he demanded the bodies of the babies so that he could bury them according to his religion but the hospital begged him to return after three hours so that they could use the dead babies for experiment. "I came back after three hours and discovered that they had separated the dead bodies," he stated.

A source disclosed to LEADERHIP WEEKEND that the babies probably died of hunger because, while at the Mararaba Medical Centre, they were fed with baby food since their mother could not breastfeed them. "But at the National Hospital, they were not fed for the four days that they survived."

The source further claimed that a consultant paediatrician at the National Hospital, whom the babies were handed over to, claimed that they were brought on a weekend and that was why they were not attended to. The babies were taken to the hospital at 4pm on Thursday, January 3, 2012.

When contacted, the public relations officer of the National Hospital, Prince Tope Haastrup, confirmed that the babies died on Sunday and were taken to the mortuary. "That is all I have to say, I can't speak further on it."

The president of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said he was going to carry out an investigation as to what happened at the National Hospital before he could speak on the matter.

The medical superintendent of the Mararaba Medical Centre, Dr. Angela Smart, said Safiya Sani, the mother of the twins, was referred to the medical centre at about 10am on Thursday, January 3, from Mararaba Primary Health Centre.

Dr. Tolulope Utele, a consultant paediatrician, Garki Hospital, Abuja, said cases of conjoined twins happen every 50,000 live births. A majority of them face still birth or die shortly after birth.

The survival rate of conjoined twins is about 25 per cent. They are more likely to survive when they are together than when you separate them.

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