Mother of conjoined twins seeks help for babies’ operation

DATU HOFER, Maguindanao (MindaNews/23 September) – A mother who gave birth last week to conjoined twins has asked for help for an operation that would separate her babies.

Mimi Sabpa, of Barangay Limpongo, Datu Hofer town, gave birth to twin girls on Sept. 17 through caesarian delivery at the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital. Their stomachs and organs are attached to each other.

Sabpa knew she has conjoined twins during a “Kalusugang Pangkalahatan” activity when the provincial medical facility was inaugurated two weeks ago. There Provincial Health Officer Dr. Tahir Sulaik advised her to undergo caesarian procedures to ensure her safety and that of the babies.

She said that during her three previous pregnancies she never went to a hospital as she could not afford it. She said a midwife attended to her deliveries at home.

Sulaik said the conjoined babies were confirmed after an ultra-sound procedure.

He said he was happy the condition of the twins was discovered early because it would be too risky for both the mother and the babies if the delivery was done at home with a midwife.

“This is the first time I performed CS procedures for conjoined babies,” Sulaik said of his 40-year service at the provincial hospital.

“Our villagers are now aware of the government’s services. With PhilHealth ready to assist, patients are no longer hesitant to visit the hospital without worrying on the expenses,” he added.

The twins were named Sittie and Hawa by Sabpa and her husband, Jerry.

Although inside the intensive care unit, both babies look healthy but under close watch by hospital staff.

Sulaik said they are hoping the operation that would separate the twins would be done in a bigger and more sophisticated hospital in Manila or abroad.

Hospital officials and the twin’s parents are appealing for financial help from individuals, groups and medical specialists for the major operation.

“I hope help will come,” the mother said. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)