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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Joy as Cameroon twins separated
Pheinbom and Shevoboh (Picture: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Conjoined Twins: www.conjoinedtwins.med.sa)
The girls will have to learn to walk with an artificial leg
A doctor in Saudi Arabia who led a team to separate Cameroonian conjoined twins has said he is hopeful about their recovery after their 16-hour surgery.

"Almost 60 hours after the operation, they are slowly waking up - so they are heading in the right direction," Dr Abdullah al-Rabeeah told the BBC.

Thirteen-month-old sisters Pheinbom and Shevoboh were joined at the chest, abdomen and pelvis and shared a leg.

The Saudi king is paying for their care following an internet appeal for help.

Dr al-Rabeeah said the girls were still in intensive care at the King Abdulaziz Medical City for National Guard in Riyadh after the difficult and challenging operation.

"We did the surgery with about 30 members in the operating room over 10 phases - each doctor with their own speciality will do their part at a given time," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

Parents of the twins smiling (Picture: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Conjoined Twins: www.conjoinedtwins.med.sa)
The family will stay in Saudi Arabia until the twins make a full recovery

He explained that the twins had also shared a liver, part of the small intestine, colon, rectum, anus, lower part of the urinary and genital systems.

"I think they'll walk. They of course will need a lot of rehabilitation afterwards and they will need an artificial leg when they approach two or three years old.

"But with a bit of training they will be able to walk."

The family are going to stay in Saudi Arabia until the twins make a full recovery.

"We were honoured by this royal gesture and I register our nation's thanks to King Abdullah for this philanthropic act," Cameroonian Ambassador Labarang Mohamed is quoted by Saudi's Arab News newspaper as saying.

Country profile: Cameroon
07 Mar 07 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Saudi Arabia
20 Apr 07 |  Country profiles
Conjoined twins
06 Jul 03 |  Medical notes


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