King Salman Center for Relief organizes transfer of Yemeni conjoined twins

King Salman Center for Relief organizes transfer of Yemeni conjoined twins
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A doctor checks newly born conjoined twins as they lie in an incubator at the child intensive care unit of Al-Thawra hospital in Sanaa. (Reuters)
King Salman Center for Relief organizes transfer of Yemeni conjoined twins
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Newly born conjoined twins lie in an incubator at the child intensive care unit of Al-Thawra hospital in Sanaa. (Reuters)
King Salman Center for Relief organizes transfer of Yemeni conjoined twins
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Doctors check the x-ray film of newly born conjoined twins at the child intensive care unit of Al-Thawra hospital in Sanaa. (Reuters)
Updated 06 February 2019

King Salman Center for Relief organizes transfer of Yemeni conjoined twins

King Salman Center for Relief organizes transfer of Yemeni conjoined twins
  • The tiny boys, who are being helped to breathe in an incubator, have separate heads
  • Doctors had appealed to the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations

RIYADH: Conjoined twin boys born in Yemen in urgent need of treatment abroad are to be transferred to receive medical attention by the King Salman Center for Relief.
Doctors treating two-week-old Abd Al-Khaleq and Abd Al-Rahim had previously said that the health system in Yemen could not keep them alive.
Their parents could not afford to transport the boys abroad for life-saving treatment.
“They need to travel immediately. They will not be able to survive in Yemen under the social, political and economic circumstances in this country,” Doctor Faisal Al-Balbali of Al-Thawra Hospital in Sanaa told Reuters.
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 between them.
“Even if one is unwell, the other is fine ... they are different in every aspect,” Al-Balbali said.
The doctors had appealed to the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations to arrange for the boys’ transfer abroad before KSRelief stepped in, as reported by Al-Arabiya.
Their parents were not present when the doctors were speaking about their sons, but medical staff said they had agreed with them to invite the media to highlight their plight.
Al-Balbali, head of the neonatal unit, said medics were not able to perform even basic diagnostic tests such as an MRI scan in Yemen, and certainly did not have the capabilities to separate them, if needed.
“This is a rare case,” said Doctor Abd Al-Hakim Abu Taleb, the hospital’s general manager said.
He added that hospitals in Yemen have seen an increase in birth defects in recent years.
Yemen’s almost four-year war has pitted the Iranian-backed Houthi militia against an Arab coalition trying to restore the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after it was ousted from power the capital by the Houthis in 2014.
Sanaa, where the boys were born in what the doctors said was a “complicated” birth for the mother, is under Houthi control.