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Jaga-Kalia can be shifted to Odisha: AIIMS to NHRC

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Bhubaneswar: The separated conjoined twins Jaga and Kalia can be discharged and shifted to Odisha as they are clinically well and do not need any specialised care, the New Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) told the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The AIIMS doctors observed that the risk level is very low after four months of surgery and the twins can be shifted to Odisha for supportive and continued care.

Replying to a notice served by the NHRC over a petition filed by the Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy, the premier medical institution stated that a team of doctors dealing with the twins Jaga and Kalia, who were joined at the head and separated after two surgeries at AIIMS, believed that they can be managed at any state-level medical college or district hospital in Odisha with good nursing pediatric support.

The AIIMS authorities in a reply to the NHRC said that the separated twins were thoroughly evaluated by a team of doctors including pediatricians, pediatric neurologists, plastic surgeons, ENT surgeons, neuropsychologists and neurosurgeons.

In a reply, the AIIMS said that a team of five doctors from Odisha had visited Delhi on February 26 and they examined the twins and met the doctors dealing with them.

The doctors from Odisha were explained that the twins do not need any specialised care at Delhi AIIMS. They need nursing care and physiotherapy that can be available at any state or district level hospital across the country and in Odisha.

The NHRC was told that Odisha government had provided Rs 1 crore financial supports for these children, out of which the premier medical institute used only Rs 11.8 lakh. The remaining money was transferred back to Odisha government in December last year.
However, the expenses towards stay of twins and their parents at the hospital in two separate rooms over last eight months and their logistics and consumables amounting to over Rs 25 lakh were borne by the AIIMS.

The craniopagus conjoined twins were successfully separated by a team of doctors after a 21-hour-long surgery in October last year.

Last month, the NHRC had asked the AIIMS to submit a report over a petition filed by the human rights activist raising doubts over availability of medical infrastructure and facilities for treatment of twins in Odisha.

Tripathy had filed the petition after the Health & Family Welfare Minister Pratap Jena informed that the condition of Jaga and Kalia has improved and they can be shifted to any hospital or AIIMS in Bhubaneswar from Delhi.