Kenya

Conjoined twins: Parents say no warning despite regular clinic visits

Conjoined twins: Parents say no warning despite regular clinic visits

Haron Magati, 27, holds his conjoined twin girls at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital on November 30, 2021.

Photo credit: Ondari Ogega | Nation Media Group

The parents of conjoined twins born at Lenmek Hospital, Kisii County say they are in shock since they were not informed of any abnormalities despite regular pre-natal clinic visits.

The twin girls were born Monday to 23-year old Lilian Moraa and her husband Vincent Haron Magati, 27, at Lenmek Hospital, Kisii County.

The babies, who are joined at the chest and abdomen area, were born via Cesarean section at 4.6 kilogrammes.

“I have been well throughout my pregnancy. I had no complications and I faithfully honoured all my clinical visits. At night, I developed labour pains and my husband organised a motorbike which took me to hospital,” said Ms Moraa.

Her husband said they are in shock given that they have been visiting the pre-natal clinic regularly at Kenyerere dispensary.

“My wife has been going to the clinic. It is strange that no abnormality was detected all this time,” he said.

He added that the children are their first and that they are worried because they have no experience of taking care of babies.

“I am jobless, but once in a while, I do roofing when the opportunity knocks,” he said.

“I am pleading for help. I want my babies separated. I would want them different.”

Ms Moraa gave birth at 3am Monday after getting to the private facility via motorbike.

She is said to be weak and is hardly audible while speaking.

She was transferred to Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital for specialised treatment, but will be transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital for further observation.

Elijah Ongori, a senior nurse at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, said the infants are stable and currently at the baby unit where they are receiving care.

“We are monitoring them before transferring them to Kenyatta National Hospital tomorrow. We have already done an X-ray on them but it is not yet out,” he said.

He, however, noted that the babies are on fluids since they cannot breastfeed because their mother is too weak.

“Their parents have indicated that they want surgery to separate the babies. This is why we are transferring them to Kenyatta National hospital,” said Mr Ongori.

He noted that it is important for expectant mothers to undergo screening or ultrasound during their pre-natal visits so as to detect any anomalies.

"Most expectant women who experience no complications do not usually bother to undergo ultrasound or screening. But we advise all expectant women to insist on screening," said Mr Ongori.

Separation of conjoined twins is often a demanding and challenging undertaking that requires careful and detailed planning, as well as integration of many specialists, particularly surgical specialists.