Normally referred to as “nsuoba” (baby of deities – usually made up of any newborn with congenital deformities and with special needs may not look “normal”), they are most often sacrificed to the gods or deities and left to die in the forest or by water bodies in this part of the world.
Their mother calls them Nhyiraba (daughter of blessing in Akan language), are Siamese twins who were delivered in the Eastern Region of Ghana and referred to the Mother-Baby-Unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital for stabilisation and further management. Following emergency surgical procedure by paediatric surgeons, led by Dr. Micheal Amoah with support from Dr. Boateng Nimako and Yifeayi, they managed to separate them successfully.
Without the surgery both could have died.
The twins were joined at the umbilicus (omphalopalagus) the third most common type, shared a common bladder, large intestines with other abnormalities). The surgery lasted over 5 hours after which the surgeons and anaesthesiologist handed them over to the intensivist to continue their recovery.
This is the third of such surgeries to be done at that hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) . The PICU provided specialised intensive care services for the two Nhyirabas.
In spite of the many constraints faced by this young unit of the hospital, including over-stretched nursing and medical stuf and equipment, they still gave the best care, comparative to any system in the world which required that some hard working staff had to be called back from leave to assist.
After 9 days in PICU one survived and was discharge. Unfortunately the younger suffered tears in her intestines leading to her demise.
The mother and grandma nonetheless are grateful to all who assisted and contributed in diverse ways to support them.