The surgery to separate the first Bhutanese conjoined twins which was scheduled to happen today has been postponed said a pediatric surgeon with JDWNRH, Dr Karma Sherub, who is in Melbourne in Australia to observe the surgery.

A team of more than 30 Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) specialists was planning to separate the 14-month-old sisters, Nima and Dawa, today. However, tests carried out on the night of October 10 indicated a decline in Dawa’s health.

The surgery is expected to be delayed for at least a fortnight, which would allow Dawa to overcome an ailment that she may have suffered during the travel from Bhutan to Melbourne last week.

“While there have no major fears for the twins’ well-being, specialists decided to delay surgery and allow Dawa further time to build strength before operation,” a media report said.

RCH said that it would give the girls additional nutrition support in the lead up to the surgery. “Surgery is likely within the coming weeks and the girls will stay at the Children First Foundation retreat while receiving continued clinical oversight by the RCH.”

Children First Foundation, an Australian-based charity that focuses on ensuring children from developing countries, has access to specialist surgeries and medical care in Melbourne and will finance the travel and the surgery cost.

According to the foreign media, the cost of both the surgery and medical care is expected to cost about USD 300,000, which the charity is hoping to raise through donations.

Dechen Tshomo