Conjoined Yemeni twins flown to Jordan for surgical procedure: UNICEF

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Conjoined twin babies born in war-torn Yemen were brought to Jordan for separation on Saturday, the UN Children's Agency said, nearly two months after a hospital warned they were in critical condition.

Born in mid-December in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, "an echocardiogram showed that each of the two children had their own heart, although the position of the heart of one of them is abnormal," said Majda al-Khatib, director of Al-Sabeen Hospital AFP at the time.

The facility's "low capacity" prevented doctors from pinpointing "which organs are connected," she added.

UNICEF said Saturday that the twins "were medically evacuated this morning to Amman, Jordan, where they will undergo separation surgery".

"After weeks of precautions … you are now in the safe hands of a team of experienced surgeons. We hope to see you again soon in good health in Sanaa," Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF representative in Yemen, was quoted as saying in a statement .

The Yemeni capital has been controlled by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels since 2014, who are fighting against an internationally recognized government backed by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

The conflict has destroyed health services, which are already underfunded in the poorest country in the Arab world.

Sanaa airport is closed to commercial flights due to an air blockade imposed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, although UN flights are allowed.

The 35-year-old mother and the 35-year-old father of the twins accompanied the babies on the trip, said UNICEF.

The agency said it was able to cover the medical and logistical costs of the operation thanks to "generous contributions from several private individual donors".

In February 2019, two weeks after their birth in Sanaa, two boys who were bound together died and needed urgent treatment.

Her plight had sparked a plea for urgent medical treatment overseas.

According to the United Nations, the conflict in Yemen has sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Cholera outbreak hits war-torn Yemen: UNICEF

© 2021 AFP

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