Saudi KSRelief team steps in to save Yemeni conjoined twins

The two little boys, Abdelkhaleq and Abdelkarim, share a kidney and two legs but have separate hearts and lungs. (AP)
Updated 08 February 2019

Saudi KSRelief team steps in to save Yemeni conjoined twins

  • Twins Abdelkhaleq and Abdelkarim share a kidney and two legs but have separate hearts and lungs
  • The tiny boys, who are being helped to breathe in an incubator, have separate heads

RIYADH: A medical team from Saudi Arabia has stepped in to save the lives of 10-day-old conjoined twins in Yemen.

The two little boys, Abdelkhaleq and Abdelkarim, share a kidney and two legs but have separate hearts and lungs. 

The head of pediatrics at Al-Thawra hospital in Sanaa, Dr. Faisal Al-Balbali, said the hospital had no facilities to treat or separate the babies and appealed for help.

The head of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief), Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, said he had a team ready to treat the twins. Arrangements were being made to bring them from Sanaa to the Kingdom “as soon as possible,” and the team would study the possibility of separating them.

In addition to being head of KSRelief, Al-Rabeeah is an internationally recognized pediatric surgeon who specializes in separating conjoined twins.

Doctors trying to treat the twins in Sanaa said Yemen’s health system could not keep them alive, and the parents are poor.

“They need to travel immediately. They will not be able to survive in Yemen under the social, political and economic circumstances,” Al-Balbali said.

The tiny boys, who are being helped to breathe in an incubator, have separate heads.

Within their shared torso they have separate spines, lungs, hearts and digestive systems, but they share a liver, reproductive organs and pair of kidneys, arms and legs.

“Even if one is unwell, the other is fine ... they are different in every aspect,” Dr. Al-Balbali  said. 

Doctors were unable to perform even basic diagnostic tests such as an MRI scan in Yemen, and certainly did not have the capabilities to separate them, he said.


Saudi delegation attends opening of Europe’s largest mosque

Updated 26 min 54 sec ago

Saudi delegation attends opening of Europe’s largest mosque

  • Chechen president hails Kingdom’s support for Islamic unity, moderation
  • Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa delivered the Friday sermon

GROZNY: The minister of Islamic affairs, call and guidance headed the Saudi delegation to the opening of what Chechen authorities said is the largest mosque in Europe on Friday.
Upon his arrival at Grozny International Airport, Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said the construction of the Fakhr Al-Muslimeen Mosque is a source of happiness.
The marble-decorated mosque has capacity for more than 30,000 people and has been described by the Chechen authorities as the “largest and most beautiful” mosque in Europe.
The opening was held under the patronage of Chechen President Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov, with the participation of Islamic delegations from a number of countries.
Al-Asheikh was received by Salah Mezhiev, advisor to Kadyrov and Chechnya’s supreme mufti, as well as other officials. Al-Asheikh said Saudi Arabia works hard to spread moderation throughout the Islamic world.
Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa delivered the first Friday sermon to be given in the mosque at the request of President Kadyrov.
Kadyrov welcomed the Saudi delegation and congratulated the Kingdom’s leadership on the success of this year’s Hajj season.
He hailed Saudi support for Islamic unity, spreading moderation and combating all forms of violence, extremism and terrorism.
The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, also attended the opening of the mosque.
The mosque's grounds, planted with flowers and sprinkled with fountains, can host an additional 70,000 worshippers, local authorities said.