Photo: Baby Born With Two Heads In Lagos

Photo: Baby Born With Two Heads In Lagos

A woman on Tuesday, December 13th, gave birth to two-headed baby at
Med-In Specialist Hospital located at Oshogbo Street in Ogudu,Lagos.

According to doctors at the hospital, the baby born around 6:30pm
through an elective caesarean section, has two heads, a neck, chest, two
legs and two hands.

The mother and medics were expecting a set of twins as indicated by the
various scans she underwent in the course of the pregnancy.


According to one of the nurses who was in the delivery room, they had
prepared two cots for each of the twins but were shocked when they saw
that they were conjoined.

“This is the first time I am seeing anything like this. I have watched
it in movies but seeing it in real life was such an experience for me.
Thankfully, the surgeon ensured that they survived.

“As I speak to you, the mother doesn’t
know the condition of the babies. She still believes and expects to
carry her twins. We haven’t told her yet. Only her husband was brought
into the theatre to see his children and he was the one who went with
the doctors to LUTH,”  said the nurse.
In medical parlance, the condition is
known as Parapagus. It is a rare form of partial twinning where there
are two heads and two necks side by side on one torso. Such cases are rampant in India and
doctors say they cannot be separated since they have only one pair of
arms and one pair of legs and one heart.
This disorder is different from
conjoined twins as the baby has only one set of internal organs. The
extremely rare case is thought to be brought on during the early stages
of pregnancy as a result of genetic mutation.
Med-In Hospital Manager Dare Moses said
the baby was taken to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) so that tests can be conducted to ascertain
if they share also vital organs like hearts and lungs.

“There is need to find out if
they share major organs together. They may have to be flown abroad for
separation if they have separate hearts and other vital organs. It is
possible for them to survive. I have seen cases of twins like this in
movie surviving and living normal lives. Normally, when we have cases of
pregnant woman expecting twins, we usually go for elective caesarean,
which was what the mother opted for. But when the doctor was trying to
extract one of the babies (first one), it got stuck and when he examined
further, he discovered that there were two heads in one body. We are
happy that the baby was delivered alive and placed on oxygen. Both heads
were alive.

“It was really amazing. I am proud and
thankful that we delivered the baby alive. Yes, several scans were done
by the mother in the course of pregnancy at different places, but none
discovered any abnormality. We are thankful that the operation was
successful.”
According to a doctor, who refused to be
named, the babies were meant to come as identical twins and must have
shared the same sac and placenta.
“Nobody can specifically say
the reason for the condition. At different stages during pregnancies.
Twins divide but these ones didn’t divide fully. We can’t really say if
they have only two pairs of legs and hands, there’s a possibility the
other pairs are inside. But we don’t know yet. There are so many things we can’t
really determine physically. That’s why several scans would be
conducted, including CT Scans, to know their exact condition and the
best option. It is a situation that would be best
managed abroad because it requires the putting together of a team of
paediatric surgeons who must have the best facilities, which we do not
have presently on Nigeria. We have good doctors but the materials
are not there. Specialists in different fields would be working on them
at the same time if they are to be separated.  Chances of their survival
in Nigeria are very poor giving the realities of our society. 
“If they can’t be separated and are left
to survive, people might ridicule them or see them as curses, which
isn’t good. But in other climes, some conjoined twins have survived to
adulthood and they are doing fine. You should also know that it would be
very expensive to foot the bills, and it isn’t what any parent can
handle alone. The government and good spirited individuals would have to
assist them so that the kids stay alive. All we want is to give them as
much chances as they can possibly get to survive. 
“Our medical system in Nigeria is in
poor shape. Even at the teaching hospitals, chances are that they may
not even have those necessary equipment to support survival of children
like this. There is need for a multi-specialist team, drawn from various
teaching hospitals, to handle cases like this and they should be
provided the right equipment.”

The Ministry of Health has been notified of the development. The hospital disclosed plans to inform the baby’s mother.

Source: The Nation