3 February 2018

Zambia: Doctors Separate Conjoined Twins

Photo: The East African
Medical specialists during the operation to seperate the conjoined eight-month-old Mapalo and Bupe.

Twin girls who were conjoined at the stomach have been separated by a team of Zambian surgeons in a historic operation in Lusaka.

Eight-month-old Mapalo and Bupe underwent a seven-hour surgery at the Women and New Born hospital on Friday.

A team of 35 specialists lead by Dr Bruce Vulani operated on the girls who were joined at the abdomen and shared two livers.

"The babies are stable and have been transferred to the intensive care unit," Dr Maureen Chisembele, the senior medical superintendent at the hospital told the media after surgery.

Following the news of their separation, social media was awash with praise for the doctors.

"Awesome! It's historic. Who would have thought that skills synonymous with the famed Dr Ben Carson are locally available? Checkmate... no need to fly out. Let us upgrade our equipment and invest in developing manpower," posted Mwembe Kaona.

"A great achievement indeed," posted Namucana Musiwa, with Bwalya Tembo adding "... it should bring joy and pride to our doctors."

The twins' parents, Lydia and Moses Mwape, from Kawambwa in northern Luapula province, thanked the government and Zambians for their "moral and physical support".

In 1997, American neurosurgeon Dr Carson led a team of 50 Zambian and South African specialists to separate 11-month-old twin boys, Joseph and Luka Banda, who were joined at the back of the skull and faced in opposite directions. The 22-hour surgery on the Zambian twins was carried out at a hospital in South Africa.

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