Ethiopia (CURE/MNN) — Doctors at CURE
Ethiopia Children's Hospital in Addis Ababa have performed the first-ever
separation of a parasitic twin from an adolescent girl in Ethiopia. This is an
incredibly rare condition, occurring in approximately one out of every 10 million
A multi-disciplinary team of doctors and
surgeons successfully performed the seven-hour procedure three weeks ago at
CURE Ethiopia Children's Hospital. Surgeons removed extra body parts from an
The girl was born with an incomplete "twin,"
called a parasitic twin, attached to her pelvis, resulting in two additional
incompletely developed arms and two additional legs. Aside from the complexity of the surgery
itself, what makes this remarkable is that it is usually performed before the
child is two years of age, or perhaps not at all.
successful surgery demonstrates the quality of health care that is now
available in Ethiopia through the CURE hospital," said Dr. Eric Gokcen, Medical
Director and Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at CURE Ethiopia.
"The fact that we were able to accomplish
this in Ethiopia with a team of doctors from CURE and Black Lion speaks to the
level of excellence we have been able to achieve." In addition, the cooperation of the medical
staff is an example of the highest level of teamwork for the sake of the
The surgical team was a cooperative
partnership between senior surgeons from CURE Ethiopia Children's Hospital and
Black Lion Hospital, the public hospital in Addis Ababa. It was led by Dr. Gokcen. Through continued
cooperation within the medical community, along with the support of the
Ethiopian government, CURE believes that the standard of health care for
disabled children and adults throughout Ethiopia will continue to rise.
Dale Brantner, President and CEO of CURE
International, says their goal is to do everything with excellence. "This surgery is just one example of how our
team in Addis Ababa continues to deliver the best possible medical care to
disabled children throughout Ethiopia. It
is also an example of the unique training opportunities CURE Ethiopia is able
to make available as we seek to educate and equip local medical professionals
to improve the overall quality of care throughout the region."
CURE International's focus on training is
present at each of their facilities around the world. In Ethiopia, CURE is an approved training
site for orthopedic surgery, life support, and nurse anesthesia, and is
affiliated with the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa,
the American Heart Association, and Addis Ababa University.
Beyond training, though, is the heart of
CURE's mission: healing the sick and proclaiming the Kingdom of God. "Our single driving focus," said Brantner "is
to follow Jesus' command to bring healing to the sick and proclaim His
kingdom. For this girl and her family,
that means meeting their immediate needs by lifting this physical burden as
well as taking the time to pray with them and minister to their spiritual
needs. The surgery and the ministry go
In fact, both the
girl and her brother accepted Christ before her surgery. It demonstrates
once again the beautiful healing–both physical and spiritual–that takes
place at CURE hospitals.
According to the staff of CURE Ethiopia
Children's Hospital, the girl is excited about her future. She can now envision going back to school,
getting married, and living a normal, productive life, something that until the
surgery would have been inconceivable. She and her family are rejoicing and experiencing a new sense of freedom,
both spiritually and physically.
CURE Ethiopia Children's Hospital opened in
January 2009 to provide comprehensive rehabilitative surgery and treatment for
children with various disabling conditions. CURE Ethiopia has performed over
3,000 surgeries free of charge in the last three years and has seen thousands
of people in its clinics. CURE is also a
certified training site, partnering in the training and education of health
care professionals in Ethiopia.
CURE International was founded by Dr. Scott and Sally Harrison as a
result of the enormous need for medical and spiritual care they witnessed in
their travels to developing nations. Since opening its first hospital in 1998 in Kenya, CURE has focused on
providing first-world quality care to children who suffer from physical
conditions that can be corrected or alleviated through medical and surgical
teaching hospitals and pediatric specialty programs operate in 25 countries.
CURE is the largest provider of pediatric surgical care in the developing world. To date, the organization has seen more than
1.6 million patients, performed more than 128,000 surgeries, witnessed over
122,000 expressions of faith, and trained more than 5,200 national medical