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President Akufo-Addo to the rescue; absorbs cost of operation for separation of Siamese twins

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The government has decided to take up the cost for the surgery to separate the conjoined twins at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge).

The Chief of staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare announced this Monday morning on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The total cost of the surgery is GH¢15million – GH¢12million for equipment and GH¢3million for consumables.

The Chief of Staff said President Akufo-Addo sees the surgery as a historic moment and an opportunity for medical skills transfer

“The President takes this as a historic opportunity, one that will save life, save the family from a problem that they may not be able to deal with in the future and also build capacity for Ghana and therefore it is my pleasure to announce that the President has said all related costs, all the costs of this exercise, the state is willing to take over the cost.”

“What you [hospital] need is timeous releases of the funds so that you get your equipment on time and everything, that is guaranteed. I’ll plead with every Ghanaian to back our doctors with prayers because this is a historic moment and they need not just our money, they need our moral support. They must know that there is a nation behind them and that nation will stand side by side with them and we want you to be successful,” she added.

Ridge Hospital to separate Siamese twins

Specialists at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge in Accra have offered to perform the medical procedure to separate a set of Siamese twins delivered at the hospital recently.

The Siamese twins are conjoined at the head, and the procedure to separate them would be the first of its kind in Ghana for a case of twins conjoined at the head.

A Consultant Neurosurgeon at the hospital, Dr Emmanuel Voado, has said there was hope for a successful surgery at the health facility, more so when the procedure would be done at an early stage when the patients were still young.

Dr Voado told Graphic Online’s, Felicia Kwarteng that the chances of the success of the surgery for the twins was high.

“We hope and trust in God for a successful surgery. However, this procedure is easier done when the patients are still young because it is done in stages, and the first stage is supposed to be done when the patients turn a month old. This means we are far behind time,” he stated.

Dr Voado gave the assurance when an aspirant of the presidency of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, presented a cheque for GH¢10,000 to the hospital towards the surgery of the Siamese twins last week.

President Akufo-Addo’s intervention

Background

The children and their mother are currently on admission at the Ridge Hospital awaiting the procedure across the next eight months.

The physicians require about GH¢3 million for the entire procedure but nothing has so far started.

The parents of the twins, Justine Bansah and Samuel Addo, said they were surprised at the news of their twins being Siamese.

The mother said she had no idea she was carrying twins, not to talk of them being Siamese twins.

Dr Voado explained that the condition of twins being conjoined at a part of the body occurred once in every 2.5 million births, and that 60 per cent of the patients died in the womb, while 30 per cent were delivered but die at birth.

“Most patients in this situation over the years would have been transferred to a South African or Indian hospital, but Ghana – for the first time – has recorded its first case of a Siamese twins conjoined in the head, and we have chosen to put Ghana on the map by doing the surgery in Ghana. The statistics and situation isn’t pleasant but we are poised to achieve success and perfection,” he stated.

Support

The Medical Director of the Ridge Hospital, Dr Emmanuel Srofenyoh, urged the public to donate to support the surgery, explaining that the government had already supported the purchase of equipment needed for the surgery..

“This is a national issue, and so it concerns every citizen. For the medical bills alone, a total of GH¢3 million is needed, and that is what we are calling on the public to support with. The success of this surgery will place Ghana’s healthcare system on the global map,” he stated.

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