Kenyan Woman Gives Birth to Conjoined Twins

  • A couples' joy and expectation for the delivery of their third child on Wednesday turned into a surprise after 24-year old Lydiah Bonareri gave birth to conjoined twins.

    The twins born at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital - Venny Kerubo and Mary Kwamboka - are conjoined from the heart to the abdomen.

    Doctors at the hospital had to perform a caesarian section to remove the children after the mother had an abnormal presentation with three fetal limbs from the birth canal.

    Dr John Ombogo, the attending surgeon who carried out the C-section, said that such cases were very rare and it was the first of such incidents to be witnessed at the facility.

    “This is the first time we are experiencing this. Such cases are very rare countrywide. Only one such case is reported in every 200,000 births. Unfortunately, 35 per cent of them die within a day,” he said.

    “In such cases, the twins share vital organs like the heart, thorax and the liver. It is very delicate for us to separate them,” Ombogo added.

    The siamese twins’ father, Mr Caleb Osoro, a boda boda operator, is leaning on his faith hoping that his daughters will survive.

    “I am saddened about the turn of events but I thank God for the far we have come," said Mr Osoro.

    He was also shocked that doctors at Nyamache Level 5 Hospital – where his wife had prenatal appointments – had not realized that his wife carried conjoined twins.

    Conjoined twins occur when a single fertilised egg fails to divide completely. It is estimated that a few hundred pairs of conjoined twins are born globally each year.

    Doctors at the hospital will now be forced to refer the case to Kenyatta National Hospital.

    "This is a delicate balance that needs critical examination. We have no capacity to carry out such an operation right here in our hospital," Dr Ombogo said.

    The doctors are also yet to determine the organs that the twins share, before any attempt can be made to separate them.

    However, Dr Kelving Nyamongo, who was at the nursery unit told the press that one of the babies had the larger part of the shared organs.

    In previous reported cases, conjoined twins were found to share some vital organs including the liver, heart and lungs, genitals, intestines and kidneys.