Afghan woman gives birth to headless conjoined twin: doctor

September 14, 2009

An Afghan woman has given birth to a baby boy attached at the chest to a headless conjoined twin, a doctor at a hospital in northern Afghanistan said Monday.

The otherwise healthy infant was born on Thursday with the torso, legs and hands of a male twin attached, he said.

"For the first few days the attached second body was also alive and was moving, but now it is dead," Doctor Homayoun Khamoosh of Kunduz hospital told AFP. "It is the first time we have seen a case like this in Kunduz province."

Khamoosh said an operation to separate the babies was needed to save the life of the fully formed child.

" have decided to carry out surgery to separate the two bodies before it (the headless body) decomposes," said Khamoosh.

The 35-year-old mother, who has four other children, hid her face from cameras at the baby's bedside and would not give her name.

Afghanistan suffers from one of the world's highest rates of mother and during labour, mainly because of poor maternal healthcare in a destitute country devastated by decades of civil war.

(c) 2009 AFP

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