February 18, 2019
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Yemeni twins born with 2 heads, 1 body need foreign treatment, doctors say

Sana'a, Feb 4 (efe-epa).- A Yemeni woman has given birth to twins conjoined from the neck down whose rare and complicated medical predicament requires treatment abroad, doctors in charge of the case at a Sana'a hospital said.

Born to a Yemeni couple who live in a rural community on the outskirts of Yemen's capital, the twins, whose condition is known as parapagus dicephalus – a rare defect with a low survival rate – were in deteriorating health, doctors added, epa-efe said Monday.

In a telephone interview with epa-efe, the father of the twins, 20-year-old Akram Ali Ahmed, said that they had remained in the neonatal intensive care unit since their birth on Jan. 24.

Akram named his children Abdul-Khaliq and Abdul-Rahim; the young farmer, however, said he wanted his children to remain in their current form.

“I want nothing to happen to my children," he said. "I don't want them to be separated and nor for one of them to die for the sake of the other. I want them both in one body. I do not object to what God has given me”, he added.

The parents have returned to their village, leaving the twins at the neonatal intensive care unit after doctors advised there was no need to remain at their side. But Akram said that he visits them from time to time.

“This boy was born 11 days ago at Al-Thawra hospital in the capital Sana’a. It is a unique case in Yemen, two children in one body with two heads, two hearts, two lungs, two stomachs and two backbones. They share only the pelvis and limbs of two hands and two legs," Dr Faisal al-Babli, head of the children's department at Al-Thawra hospital, told epa-efe.

“Their health situation is fairly stable so far. They are sometimes given artificial respiration. We are currently looking for funding and assistance so that we can provide appropriate healthcare for their very critical health status and move them out of Yemen,” al-Babli added.

He went to say that the babies were supposed to have been transferred immediately abroad after the birth for treatment.

He explained that because the medical capabilities in Yemen were very poor, especially in light of the ongoing war Yemen is experiencing in addition to the siege imposed on the country and the closure of Sana'a airport, the newborn boys were prevented from being transferred directly abroad.

He said that although the twins' condition was still stable, their health was gradually deteriorating.

“We hope that international organizations concerned with the health of children and newborns to help save this two-headed baby," al-Babli added.

Yemen is currently gripped by a civil war between Houthi insurgents, who control the capital, and the internationally-backed government.

The fighting has brought about a historic humanitarian crisis in the region as medical and food supplies have become scarce.

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