RIYADH – Two-week old conjoined twins born in the Gaza Strip died here Saturday after doctors said their condition was too delicate to operate, Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeah announced in a statement carried by the SPA news agency.
Frail health and bacterial infection killed Ritaj and Rital Abu Assi, the minister was quoted as saying.
The twins were born in Khan Yunis on March 27 joined at the chest and sharing a defective heart and other organs.
“Their situation worsened as the medical team had expected,” he said in a statement.
The two girls were born March 27 – the first ever in the impoverished Gaza Strip – and doctors there lacked the resources to treat them. They requested help from Saudi Arabia, which has world renowned facilities for separating conjoined twins.
King Abdullah heard about the twins through the media and ordered they be brought to the Kingdom for surgery. The King has funded such surgeries in the Kingdom from other parts of the world.
The twins ran into obstacles in getting there. They had to obtain passports from the rival Palestinian government in the West Bank, permission from Israel and approval from the Egyptian government to open the border out of Gaza.
They were brought to the King Abdulaziz Medical City’s special conjoined twins center Tuesday for a possible separation operation.
But after examining the twins, doctors said a day later that their organs were too damaged and their health too critical to undertake the operation. – Agencies