Blockade obstructs treatment of co-joined twins in Gaza

A Palestinian doctor says a rare pair of conjoined twins born in the Gaza Strip is in good health, but will need treatment abroad. Dr. Allam Abu Hamda, a neonatal specialist at Gaza’s Shifa hospital, said on Monday that the girls are in “stable” condition and doctors have begun feeding them. The sisters were born on Saturday by cesarean section after a full-term pregnancy. Most cases die within 24 hours of birth, the doctor said. The girls are joined at the abdomen and pelvis but they have separate heads and lungs. Palestinian hospitals lack equipment and expertise to separate the twins. He says doctors are trying to arrange a transfer of the girls to advanced hospitals in the US or Saudi Arabia to determine whether they can be separated.

Conjoined twins born in Gaza Sunday need to leave the blockaded Palestinian enclave for treatment crucial to their survival, a family member said.  Hamda said the girls’ complicated condition “cannot be dealt with in the Gaza Strip.”