By Daji Sani in Yola and Onungwe Obe in Yenagoa
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, has celebrated the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Yola, Adamawa State, and the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Awwal Muhammad Abubakar, following the successful separation of conjoined twins.
The SGF made the announcement over the weekend at an occasion organised in Yola to celebrate the CMD, who is also the lead surgeon, and the hospital for successfully carrying out the separation of the conjoined twins.
Mustapha noted that the success has made Adamawa State and the hospital proud as a centre for medical excellence in the country.
He said since the inception of the FMC, the hospital has separated conjoined twins in 2013, 2018 and 2020, adding that this makes it the fifth time the CMD, Prof Awwal, has separated conjoined twins in his career, and he needs to be honoured.
“l will try to talk to the federal government so that we can honour you; surely your labour will not go in vein,” he said.
Mustapha urged Nigerians to always express love to one another and shun any divisive tendency, adding that the fact that conjoined twins born in the Niger Delta came to Yola to receive free treatment, shows an unprecedented love extended by one Nigerian to another irrespective of any difference.
He noted that such spirit must underpin how Nigerians should relate.
The SGF commended the Chief of Air Staff, Air Mashal Abubakar Sadiq, for airlifting the conjoined twins who were born in Beyalsa State to Yola to receive the free treatment.
Shortly after the occasion, Prof. Auwal revealed to journalists that Grace and Mercy, the eight months old set of female omphalopagus twins, were delivered by Caesarean section at the General Hospital in Nembe, Bayelsa State, on December 25, 2019, with a combined birth weight of 5.8kg, shared a single umbilical cord and were joined from the mid thorax to the mid-abdomen with a fused liver.
He said the twins were earlier managed at FMC in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, before being transferred to the FMC in Yola, Adamawa State, on January 4, 2020, to be separated.
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director of FMC Yenagoa, Dr. Dennis Alagoa, said while receiving the babies on arrival at Bayelsa International Airport on Sunday disclosed that a team of pediatric surgeons and healthcare personnel from the two medical institutions collaborated to achieve the feat while the Nigerian Air Force provided logistics for medical evacuation from Yenagoa to Yola.
“We applaud the Chief of Air Staff, Air Abubakar, for his swift intervention by making avaliable the aircraft and logistics for medical evacuation of the babies alongside their parents and medical team to and from Yola.
On arrival in Yenagoa, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrujakpo, donated the sum of N1 million to the parents of the babies.