Our health system even with modest resources can rise up to the highest challenges… Health Minister

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Separated conjoined twins.
The formerly conjoined twins, Goodness and Mercy, recently separated at the National Hospital Abuja.

The Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has commended the case management team who separated the conjoined twins at  National Hospital Abuja, saying that “they have demonstrated that our health system, even with modest resources can rise up to the highest challenges and offer quality care to find its position among renowned international hospitals’’

The Minister gave this commendation at a Press conference organised by the hospital to mark the discharge from the hospital the set of conjoined twins who were joined at the chest and liver.

In his brief, Ehanire described the feat as a remarkable operation that followed very detailed planning and preparation, a mixed team of indigenous paediatric, plastic and cardiothoracic surgeons led by the Chief consultant Paediatric surgeon of the hospital, Professor Emmanuel Ameh.

“It is the first successful operation of this type at this hospital and it marks a bold venture into the realm of advance surgery” the Minister added.

He attributed the successful outcome of the surgery to the availability of top experts at the Hospital, their dedication to the medical profession, careful planning, excellent team work and administrative support received by the team.

The Minister also stated that as the administration of President Buhari aims for grassroots Universal Health coverage, support for tertiary care to improve performance is by no means lost.

He further appreciated the hospital for being alive to her social and human responsibility to make healthcare affordable and support patients with need to access specialised care but with limited means.

Similarly, the elated Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora, commended the effort of all those who played a role in the success story. According to him, ‘’this is a testimony to what we can do. Where there is unity and purpose, success is assured, healthcare is a team work, not a solo event. With this achievement, it means we must play down inter-professional rivalry in the health sector, because it does not do us any good’’ the Minister advised.

Also speaking, the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, expressed her delight over the uncommon feat achieved by   the hospital pledging that her Ministry would continue to work and support the Federal Ministry of Health in its bid to assist women who in her words are the ‘’heart of every family’’

In his welcome address, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), National Hospital Abuja,  Dr. Jaff Momoh, narrated that the twins were delivered at Federal Medical Centre Keffi, on 13th August 2018 and referred to the  National Hospital the following day on account of being conjoined at the chest and abdomen.

The CMD said that on assessment of the social status of the family by the hospital and classifying them as indigent, the management of National Hospital decided to fund the care and the entire processes leading to and including the major surgical procedure for the separation.

He stressed that the management of the patients was multidisciplinary across many departments, including pharmacy, Nursing, Nutrition, Medical laboratory and others.  Dr. Momoh added that the hospital was determined to ensure that lack of funds did not stop the twins from having the opportunity to enjoy their lives independently while promising to monitor their wellbeing as need may be.

Enefaa Bob-Manuel
Head, Media and Public Relations.