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Eritrean Doctor Appeals for Conjoined Twins

A doctor caring for two-month-old, conjoined twins in Eritrea has appealed for help to determine whether they can be separated. Dr Zemichael Oqbe told BBC that the girls, born in the city of Keren, were joined at their heads and would need further MRI and CT scans, which cannot be done in Eritrea. The chief of the neonatal section at Orotta National Referral Hospital in the capital, Asmara, said despite this the twins were in a good condition at present. Any operation to separate them would only be considered when the girls were older – aged around two years old. However, the hospital’s MRI imaging system was so “limited” that medics had been unable to determine which area of the brain the twins shared, Dr Zemichael said. A precise and sophisticated MIR system could tell if they had their own separate brains, he said. Any operation would require a team of highly qualified surgeons and medical professionals. Eritrea’s health system is one of the poorest in the world so this would need to be done abroad. The costs of travelling outside the country and paying for such medical treatment is incredibly high and it is reportedly impossible for the twins’ family, who are from a remote village. Eritreans in the diaspora have raised money before to pay for the expensive medical treatment.