Conjoined twins to receive high care

2016-10-25 06:00
 Photo: supplied KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo (right) and chief pediatrician, Dr Harshavadan Ratilal Mackanjee with the conjoined twins

Photo: supplied KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo (right) and chief pediatrician, Dr Harshavadan Ratilal Mackanjee with the conjoined twins

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KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo has full confidence that the newly born conjoined twins from Zululand will receive the highest level of healthcare at Inkosi Albert Central Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), where they are being treated.

The twin girls, who are conjoined at the chest and abdomen, were born at their home in Pongola on Saturday 8 October.

Their 31-year-old mother said she only attended ante-natal classes once, during the early stages of her pregnancy.

Dhlomo visited the girls in the neonatal intensive care unit of IALCH today, and spoke to the mother and chief pediatrician, Dr Harshavadan Ratilal Mackanjee.

Dhlomo said: “Whatever the outcome these twins are going to have will be God’s will. Here at IALCH, they are going to be exposed to a multidisciplinary team of highly trained specialists, including neonatologists, orthopaedic surgeons, cardiologists, gastroenterologists. This hospital is the best place because all of these specialists can be found under one roof.”

Dhlomo had been briefed by Dr Mackanjee that each twin was comfortable and breathing on their own and currently being fed intravenously.
He was also told that although there are certain vital organs the babies share - the liver - there are other critical organs - heart and lungs - they do not share, which makes their case a little less complicated.

“The doctors are still working on a plan in terms of what they want to do with the babies. They have indicated that they’ll allow the babies to grow to a certain age - about six months - which, according to their knowledge, will allow for a particular surgical intervention, if needed.” said Dlomo.

Dhlomo said he is pleased that whatever decision the doctors take will include the family’s wishes.

“They’re not going to make any decision, good as they may be, without involving the family. The family component, culturally, will be much of the planning.”

Dhlomo said if the hospital care was to be done privately, it would cost millions. This, he said, is why the National Health Insurance is so crucial.

“The costs that would be involved in the hospital care and other future plans would have amounted to what we call ‘catastrophic health expenditure’, which is exactly what NHI will deal with, as our national health minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has been saying.
“The family would have barely managed, but now these babies are going to have an outcome that is not dependent on how much money their parents have in their pocket.”

He also hailed the Air Wing of the department’s emergency medical services for being on hand last Saturday, as they airlifted the twins from Itshelejuba Hospital to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.

Dhlomo wished the mother and her twins well and asked pregnant mothers o start ante-natal care as early as possible, in order for any abnormalities to be detected early, and to ensure optimal care of mothers and new-borns. - Supplied.

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