Conjoined twins Rabeya and Rokaiya are set to be flown for Hungary on Friday night (tonight) for treatment. Once they return, a surgery will be performed at Dhaka Medical College Hospital to separate them, doctors say.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken the responsibility of the treatment of the twins. Health Minister Mohammed Nasim handed over the PM’s grants to the twins’ parents at a media briefing at the DMCH on Friday morning.
“The PM has wished for success of the treatment,” Nasim said.
Rabeya and Rokaiya were born to schoolteacher couple Rafiqul Islam and Taslima Khatun at Atlanka village in Pabna’s Chatmohar upazila in 2016.
They are joined at the head. Rabeya and Rokaiya had to be taken to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University five days after their birth for treatment.
Conjoined twins are rare and thought to be about one in every 200,000 live births.
DMCH Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit chief coordinator Dr Samanta Lal Sen said the twins would be treated at the joint initiative of Bangladesh and Hungary. “Twenty members of five teams from Hungary, Germany and Bangladesh will work together,” he said.
PM Hasina ordered arranging necessary treatment for the twins when she learnt about them. They were hospitalised in November 2017. Dr Sen said representatives of German and Hungarian teams were present here at that time.
Two surgeries had been performed on them. The main operation will take place at the Sheikh Hasina National Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute after they return from Hungary.
Professor Abul Kalam Azad, the unit’s director, said Rabeya and Rokaiya’s brains are separate. “We need to increase tissues to detach them completely,” he said, noting that such operations had a less than 20 percent success rate.
The twins will need to stay in Hungary for three to four months. They will be under the care of Hungary-based Bangladeshi organisation ’For Bangladesh’.
Rabeya and Rokaiya will be accompanied by four others, including Dr Hossain Imam, their doctor at the burn unit.