After giving birth to conjoined twin girls, a mother on the island of Madagascar walked for four days to bring them to a surgeon who recently had helped separate a similar pair of twins, local newspapers reported Monday.
Soavina and Kambana, weighing a combined 3.6 kg, were born in the village of Sahavavy near the eastern coastal city of Toamasina last week. The two are attached around the genitals and the anus. They were said to be in good health.
After giving birth, Josie Aurette, 37 - and mother to another seven children - set out for the university hospital in Toamasina, where Professor Lalatiana Andriamananarivo operates. She was accompanied by a midwife and carried the babies in a fruit basket.
1 in 100 000 pregnancies
Andriamananarivo has since taken the twins into his care. He was part of the team of 20 surgeons at Necker children's hospital in Paris that separated eight-month-old twin boys Imahaga and Imahalatsa from southern Madagascar in February. The two boys were attached at the throat and stomach and shared a liver. French surgeon Yann Revillon led the surgical team. The two boys have since returned home and are reported to be doing well.
Conjoined twins are very rare, occurring only in around one in every 100 000 pregnancies. In 90% of cases, the twins are girls. The condition arises when the egg from which identical twins develop fails to divide properly. Separating conjoined twins can be very difficult, especially where they share a heart or a head.
An appeal is expected to be launched in Madagascar for Soavina und Kambana to raise money so that they can also travel to France for surgery.
Madagascar, an impoverished island of around 20 million people that was rocked by weeks of street protests leading to the ouster of the democratically-elected president in March, has maintained strong links with former colonial power France. – (Sapa-dpa, May 2009)
Conjoined twins op successful