Madagascar health minister separates siamese twins

(iStock)
(iStock)

Antananarivo - In most countries health ministers are seen as bureaucrats more interested in paperwork than medical miracles.

Not in Madagascar, where Mamy Lalatiana Andriamanarivo recently picked up a scalpel and separated conjoined siamese twins in a medical first for the Indian Ocean island nation.

"Surgery was performed at the Joseph Ravoahangy Andrianavalona hospital on September 13 to separate siamese twins joined at the abdomen and lower thorax," Jean Marie Rasamimanana, the deputy technical director at the hospital in the capital Antananarivo, told AFP on Tuesday.

"The separation of the five-month-old twins, Mitia and Fitia, who weighed 13kg and were delivered by caesarian section, involved the separation of their liver, ribs and diaphragm," he said, adding that the pair were doing well following their operation.

The surgery was a medical first for Madagascar. A medical team from the country successfully separated siamese twins in 2009 but because of a lack of equipment in the island's hospitals, the surgery was performed in Paris.

Andriamanarivo, the minister and pediatric surgeon, reportedly praised the breakthrough and said it would save the island's medical system a small fortune as a comparable surgery would have cost $120 000 if performed overseas.

Madagascar is one of the world's poorest nations and more than 90% of its 25 million people live on less than $2 per day. Almost half of under fives suffer development issues.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
As a child or as an adult, have you ever been a victim of bullying?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, at school
53% - 761 votes
Yes, at work
17% - 244 votes
No, I've never experienced this
30% - 438 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.33
(+0.1)
GBP/ZAR
19.81
(-0.0)
EUR/ZAR
17.16
(+0.0)
AUD/ZAR
11.07
(+0.0)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(+0.1)
Gold
1,776.67
(0.0)
Silver
25.97
(0.0)
Platinum
1,203.79
(0.0)
Brent Crude
66.77
(-0.3)
Palladium
2,781.00
(0.0)
All Share
68,699
(+1.3)
Top 40
62,898
(+1.3)
Financial 15
12,446
(+0.8)
Industrial 25
89,364
(+0.8)
Resource 10
70,350
(+2.2)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo