RIYADH: A Saudi surgical team carried out a complex 16-hour operation on Thursday to separate conjoined Tanzanian twins.
The operation took place under the supervision of leading pediatric surgeon Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, head of the Saudi humanitarian aid agency KSrelief chief.
The medical and surgical team separated Hassan and Hussein, aged 2, at King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital in the King Abdulaziz Medical City at the Ministry of National Guard in Riyadh.
The operation lasted 16 hours over nine stages, with 35 consultants, specialists, and technical, nursing and support staff taking part.
Following the surgery, which marked the 59th operation for the Saudi conjoined twins program, Dr. Al-Rabeeah thanked members of the medical team for their efforts and congratulated the mother of the twins and the Tanzanian people on the successful procedure.
He reiterated the Kingdom’s pioneering role in humanitarian work in general and medical work in particular, which would not have been achieved without the unlimited support from the Saudi government.
Al-Rabiah also said the achievement reflects the Saudi medical excellence in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to develop the health sector and raise its quality and efficiency.
The mother of the twins expressed her thanks to the leadership and medical team, commending the Kingdom’s great humanitarian work and the warm reception and generous hospitality she received throughout her stay in Saudi Arabia.
Tanzania’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ali Mwadini expressed his thanks and gratitude to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and members of the medical team.
He praised the development of the Saudi medical sector that reached prestigious international levels, wishing the twins a speedy recovery.
The twins arrived from Dar es Salaam in August for medical examinations that showed they were conjoined at the lower chest, abdomen, pelvis, liver, urinary tract, intestines and one reproductive organ.
The Kingdom is a world leader in one of the most complex surgical procedures in modern medicine. Since its launch in 1990, Saudi Arabia’s Conjoined Twins Program has treated about 130 cases of conjoined twins from countries around the world. Al-Rabeeah himself has conducted 58 operations on conjoined twins born to poor families from 23 countries.
King Abdullah Specialized Children’s Hospital plays a crucial role in the program. Equipped with state-of-the-art medical facilities and advanced technology, the hospital is staffed by a highly skilled medical team specializing in complex pediatric care.
Operations carried out under the program are fully sponsored by the Saudi government. They offer children a chance to enjoy a long and healthy life, free of round-the-clock care, and relieved of the mental and physical strain of their condition.
According to medical studies, about 60 percent of conjoined twins are stillborn, while some 40 percent of those who survive birth then die within a few days. About 70 percent of conjoined twins are girls.