UK doctors reveal separation of Pakistani twins joined at the head

The procedures took place at London’s Great Ormond Street hospital, with the girls well enough to be discharged from hospital four months later on July 1. (REUTERS/File)
Updated 16 July 2019

UK doctors reveal separation of Pakistani twins joined at the head

  • Highly complex surgery involved multiple operations
  • Their brains were more intertwined than the previous sets of craniopagus twins, says doctor

LONDON: Two-year-old twins joined at the head have undergone successful surgery at a British hospital to separate their skulls, brains and blood vessels, doctors said on Tuesday.
The highly complex surgery involved multiple operations on Safa and Marwa Ullah, who were born in Pakistan in January 2017 with a condition known as “craniopagus” in which the girls’ skulls and parts of their brains were joined and intertwined.
“Craniopagus is an exceptionally rare and complex condition,” said David J. Dunaway, who co-led the surgical team that treated the twins. The operation, conducted in February, was the most complex such separation his team had performed to date, he said.
Having twins joined at the head with fused skulls and separate bodies occurs in less than one in a million births, while having the connection extend into the brain tissue is rarer still. Around 50 sets of craniopagus twins are estimated to be born around the world every year, of which only around 15 are thought to survive beyond the first 30 days of life.
Dunaway said this separation was helped by state-of-the-art technology including virtual reality, advanced imaging and three-dimensional rapid prototyping — allowing the surgeons to use images of the girls’ brains and blood vessels to plan and practice the surgery in advance to minimize complications.
The procedures took place at London’s Great Ormond Street hospital, with the girls well enough to be discharged from hospital four months later on July 1.
“These cutting-edge scientific techniques greatly increased the chance of success for Safa and Marwa. Their brains were more intertwined than the previous sets of craniopagus twins making it the most complicated separation to date,” the Great Ormond Street team said in a statement.
Five months after their final operation, Safa and Marwa are making slow but steady progress, the doctors said, adding that “a further period of recuperation and rehabilitation is essential to maximize their recovery.”


Pakistan’s telecom regulator approaches Twitter after false Indian claims of 'civil war' in Karachi

Updated 22 October 2020

Pakistan’s telecom regulator approaches Twitter after false Indian claims of 'civil war' in Karachi

  • Leading media outlets in India used the social networking website to disseminate fabricated stories about clashes in Karachi
  • Twitter verified accounts were used to spread the fake news, making Pakistani authorities ask the social media giant to act against them

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) approached the Twitter management on Thursday, asking the social media giant not to allow users to spread fake information for propaganda purposes.
“In the wake of current smear campaign of spreading false and baseless information targeting Pakistan, its cities and institutions,” said an official handout, “PTA has stressed upon Twitter to effectively block handles involved in the campaign.”
The country released the statement after some Indian news networks falsely claimed that clashes had erupted between the Pakistan Army and Sindh Police in the country’s most densely populated city of Karachi.
The story was fabricated by some of the leading media outlets across the border, who claimed that a “civil war” was raging in Pakistan before disseminating the misleading story through social media platforms.
While Pakistani Twitter users mocked the Indian media, South Asia watchers were alarmed by the development.

 

 

Pakistani politicians also expressed their displeasure at the development, condemning the Indian media for its devious reporting.

 

 

In its official statement issued on Thursday, the PTA expressed its “disappointment” that a “number of accounts involved in propagation of untrue stories” were “Twitter verified.”
“However, they are still operating with immunity,” the statement added. “PTA has asked the platform to take immediate action against such accounts as per its guidelines and policies.”