The leader of 66-man surgeon team that successfully carried out the separation of conjoined twins at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital(UITH) in January 2021, Prof. Lukman Olajide Abdur-Raheem has disclosed that one of the separated conjoined twins died due to adhesive intestinal obstruction barely two weeks to her second birthday.
Abdur- Raheem made the disclosure in Ilorin, while delivering his 222nd Inaugural lecture of the University of Ilorin over the weekend.
The theme of the lecture was, “Shades of Joy and Cry: Intricacies of Children’s Surgery for Restoring Smile and Hope for the Future.”
The twin sister according to the inaugural lecturer, “is hale and hearty and is among the mammoth crowd with her mother, as audience at the university auditorium, venue of the lecture.”
The management of UITH had on January 14, 2021, presented the set of female twins, alive, to the public after doctors successfully separated them.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UITH, Prof. Abdullah Dasilva Yussuf, who briefed the press on the occasion had attributed the accomplishment to the commitment and determination of the team.
However, the leader of the team who performed the feat explained that, “the conjoined twins are rare anomalies resulting from an abnormal division of fertilised ovum during the process of twinning.”
Conjoined twins, he said, have intricate parts that are shared in unique manner from the head to the toes and require thorough investigations to determine anatomic and physiologic implications of separation of the shared parts.
He added that, “About 19 pairs of conjoined twins were reported to have been born alive or dead in Nigeria in the last nine decades, from which the UITH, Ilorin had managed three pairs between 2005 to 2015, even under fragile conditions.
“In our setting, we adopted adult investigative and therapeutic equipment for optimal outcomes since many children equipment are not available.”
The success with the celebrated first successful separation of conjoined twins in llorin in January 2021, according to him, resulted from the cohesive 66-man multi-disciplinary collaborative team under his leadership.
“The application of simulation skills in the clinical scenarios, he said, was presented and highly commended at the 2021 Bethune Round Table conference in Canada.”
Abdur-Raheem who reeled out the burden of pediatric surgical diseases, including birth defects, neonatal surgery, congenital anomalies and their effects on the physical, mental, financial and social status of children and parents asserts that in Nigeria, the estimated incidence of birth defects varies between 2.5 and 11.5 per 1,000 live births in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
He observed that Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) was still high at 26.6 per cent, attributing this factor to lack of access to surgery which includes the significant shortage workforce.
He revealed that, “Globally, 1.7 billion children do not have access to safe, affordable and timely surgical care, with the sub-Saharan Africa bearing the largest burden because up to 50 per cent of the population are children”.
He advised the federal government to step up paediatric surgical care awareness at the primary health care level, so that the conditions are identified early and appropriate counsel are provided to caregivers.
He also called for all existing children hospital to be upgraded so as to have complimentary well equipped and staffed paediatric surgical services at the state and federal levels.
He appealed to all tiers of government to make Laparoscopy, known as keyhole surgery, accessible and affordable to indigent Nigerians.
He described Laparoscopy as a type of surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen and pelvis without having to make large incisions on the skin.
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