SOS for B/Bridge conjoined twins

Local News
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CONCERNED Beitbridge residents are appealing for donations for the upkeep, medical care and possible separation of conjoined twins that were born to a border town woman in 2021.

Tapiwa Sibanda (26) of Lutumba, gave birth at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in South Africa two years ago to twins Unarine and Zwoluga Mudau, who were conjoined on the stomach.

A special needs teacher, Kiabetso Malutha heard about the issue and has launched an appeal for help.

The twins have, with the help of Malutha, been moved to Mpilo General Hospital in Bulawayo for onward transfer to Harare where they will be cared for.

Medical authorities in South Africa reportedly discharged Sibanda from the hospital saying their budget was reserved for locals.

“I combed the Lutumba area in search of the children since families were keeping it a closely guarded secret. I had been invited by a businessman who heard about the case and felt that I could assist them as I am a specialist teacher trained in children’s needs,” Malutha said.

Together with her companion, Oscar Chiromo, Malutha raised money which resulted in the children and their mother getting admitted at Beitbridge Hospital.

Sibanda said she delivered the twins on November 21, 2021 in the neighbouring country where she was living then.

“I was at the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital where I gave birth. Later, the  authorities discharged me saying they could not help me since I was a foreigner and they had no budget for me. They said the operation would cost R81 000 then,” she said.

Her set of twins are rare, but the conjoined twins are not the first in Zimbabwe. The country has had documented cases of conjoined twins since independence.  Only one case was referred outside the country, while in two instances, the babies died before surgery.

In 2005, conjoined Zimbabwean twins were successful separated in Canada.  Recently, successful operations have been executed in Harare despite a collapsed health delivery system and mass exodus of health specialists who have left for greener pastures abroad.

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