The Chief of Staff, Hon. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, on behalf of President Akuffo-Addo and the State, has presented a cheque of GHC14.39 million to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital towards the surgery to separate the conjoined twins.
The presentation is in fulfillment of a pledge the President made in July during a visit to the family of the twins and Doctors who will perform the surgery.
The Chief of Staff was hopeful that the release of the money would now make way for the purchase of equipment to enable the doctors to perform the surgery on time to save the lives of the conjoined twins.
The Director of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (GARH), Dr. Emmanuel Srofenyo has said a team of 166 local and international specialists are collaborating to facilitate the surgery to separate the conjoined twins first week in September 2021.
“From the technical people, we have been given the recognition that the surgeries must start from the first week in September, 2021. The surgeries will start from first week in September with the initial stages as we said earlier on, the surgeries is going to be in several stages, the first is to prepare the skin and expand the skin so that eventually when the twins are separated they could be a redundant skin that can then be used to close up where the gaps are”. Dr. Srofenyo said
Explaning why the surgeries have delayed since the news of the conjoined twins, Dr. Srofenyo said “the fact of the matter is that in handling critical cases like conjoined twins, there is a specific time the surgery should be perform, the experts have told us the surgeries are best performed from between four months up to a year after delivery so we are really not in a great hurry for the surgeries to be perform because we are waiting for the optimal opportunity for the surgery to be perform”.
The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has assured that everything is on course to facilitate the surgery to separate the conjoined twins bonded at the head.
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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Africa Foundation, Nana Kwame Bediako has rented a fully furnished five (5) bedroom apartment at North-Ridge for the family of the conjoined twins for two (2) years.
His kind gesture was after he visited the conjoined family at Nsawam and to his dismay; the family of five lived in a singled bedroom with no kitchen and toilet facility.
“I wanted to see how the family have been living for the past years, and how God gave Ghana our first conjoined twins, I wanted to see the parents and their background so I travelled to Nsawam and when I got to their house, I realised that they were living in a single room for seventeen years. So I asked them if they had a kitchen, they said no, what of bathroom, they said they had a shared bathroom but we don’t have a toilet and that is what really touched me”.
Mr. Bediako narrated that after the story of the first conjoined twins, he was eager to do anything he could to help his country and also support efforts by government to provide financial support for the family for a successful surgery.
“When my foundation, the New Africa Foundation reached out to the doctors at Ridge, they believe that if we could find an apartment close to the Ridge hospital which could be two to three minutes away that could help so we went ahead to rent a place in North-Ridge”.
He added that “i can only describe this gesture as God’s grace. For some reason, the conjoined twins has brought all these favour to this family, and has made the nation realised that we all have national responsibilities”.
Mr. Bediako believes that his kind gesture will also bring the awareness to others who might help donate in other aspects of the lives of the children and parents.
When asked what becomes of the family after the two years rent expires, Mr. Bediako replied that “for now they have a home, and the family having a place to live is very much important as the surgery and we have two years to think, so that shouldn’t be a problem, if they are okay today, they should be okay tomorrow and tomorrow next, the future is bright for them, I believe so”.
Mr Agyeman-Manu also expressed gratitude to the New Africa Foundation for the gesture on behalf of the government.
“What the foundation has done is a demonstration of how Ghanaians would want to care about those who are vulnerable,” Mr Agyeman-Manu said.
The minister for health, Mr. Agyeman-Manu said “when the twins were brought here, I had discussions with the Medical Director and his team on the needs of the family and the twins. The discussions included if a psychologist had been assigned to the family and the answer was positive”.
“In order to facilitate their movement in and out of the hospital, we started asking where they lived and in our needs assessment, we had to put in accommodation because they lived in Nsawam. Not long after that, while we were writing to the office of the President for the release of funds for the medical team to do what they needed to do, the team informed me that a philanthropist had actually gone ahead to secure an accommodation for the family for two years”. He said
The Greater Accra Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Mrs Charity Sarpong, recounted the delivery of the first-ever conjoined twins in the head at the Nsawam on March 30, 2021, and how they were transferred to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital immediately for the necessary medical interventions that would lead to their separation.
She said since March 2020 till date, the technical team made up of specialists pooled from all over the country had been collaborating with international medical specialists outside the country in preparation toward the separation. “We hope to see a very successful operation,” she said.