70-year-old Ugandan Safina Namukwaya has become Africa’s oldest mother after giving birth to twins following IVF treatment. At 31 weeks, Namukwaya underwent an early cesarean delivery, giving birth to a boy and a girl. The infants are said to be stable after being placed in incubators.
The proud mother told Africa News, “When I had a checkup, they told me I had twins and I was very happy.”
Edward Tamale Sali, the physician who oversaw the septuagenarian’s pregnancy and delivery, described the woman’s fertility treatment at the Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Centre in Uganda as “extraordinary.”
“We’ve achieved the extraordinary – delivering twins to Africa’s oldest mother aged 70!” the hospital posted on its Facebook page.
Sali said, “Age is just a number. A young woman can also die of complications from pregnancy. And an old woman, if she is fit, can also survive.”
This counts as Namukwaya’s second delivery in three years after giving birth to a girl in 2020. The new mother told Uganda’s Daily Monitor that her pregnancy had been difficult because her partner abandoned her when he realized she was going to have twins.
“Men don’t like to be told that you are carrying more than one child. Ever since I was admitted here, my man has never showed up,” she said.
Namukwaya told the news outlet that she wanted to have children after being mocked as childless: “I looked after people’s children and saw them grow up and leave me alone. I wondered who would take care of me when I grow old.”
Even though women go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, IVF is one of the techniques helping women around these ages to give birth. During IVF, an egg is removed from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. The fertilized egg, called an embryo, is then returned to a woman’s womb to grow and develop, as stated by NHS.
Four years ago, a 73-year-old Indian woman gave birth to twins following IVF treatment.