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 VAT revenues hit SR46.7bn in a year: Finance minister

Updated 57 min 32 sec ago

Saudi VAT revenues hit SR46.7bn in a year: Finance minister

  • Al-Jadaan announced the figures during the first edition of the General Authority for Zakat and Tax
  • Said Kingdom was working to reach a consensual solution for tax challenges

RIYADH: Saudi VAT revenues have hit SR46.7 billion ($12.45 billion), a significant increase on estimates for the fiscal year, according to the Kingdom’s finance minister.

Mohammed Al-Jadaan announced the figures during the first edition of the General Authority for Zakat and Tax (GAZT) conference and exhibition.

“The commitment rate came at 90 percent, exceeding all the expectations of GAZT and some international organizations that ranged between 60 and 70 percent,” he said.

“The conference comes as the Kingdom is witnessing an economic and social transformation under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to achieve a diverse economy and sustainable growth in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision.

“The Kingdom’s fiscal policy aims to achieve a balance between the state’s financial and economic objectives. It seeks to maintain financial sustainability for the medium and long terms, which stimulates economic growth rates. This generates from our recognition that fiscal policies are one of the most important drivers of growth in the non-oil sector,” he added.

“The digital economy is rapidly advancing. We hope that modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchains will improve compliance with zakat and taxes, enrich the business sector, lower costs, promote tax transparency and develop e-commerce tax regulations.

“This conference will hopefully achieve a qualitative leap in the sectors of zakat and taxes by promoting cooperation and exchanging experiences.”

Al-Jadaan said that as the Kingdom prepared to host the next G20 summit, it was working to reach a consensual solution for tax challenges of the digital economy and contribute with other member states to stabilizing the global economy.