A 70-year-old Ugandan woman has given birth to twins after becoming pregnant through IVF treatment, the hospital where she received treatment said.
Safina Namukwaya became the oldest woman to give birth in Africa after she delivered a baby girl and boy on Wednesday afternoon, the Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Centre in the Ugandan capital of Kampala said.
Medics at the hospital said the mother and her two babies are doing well after they were delivered via a caesarean.
‘This story isn’t just about medical success, it’s about the strength and resilience of the human spirit,’ the hospital said.
Ms Namukwaya told the NTV channel that this was her second delivery in three years, after she gave birth to a girl called Sarah in 2020.
Safina Namukwaya became the oldest woman to give birth in Africa after she delivered a baby girl and boy yesterday
Medics said the mother and her two babies are doing well after they were delivered via a caesarean
The mother said she had suffered some complications and difficulties during her pregnancy, including the father of her children leaving her.
‘Men don’t like to hear that you are going to have more than one child,’ Ms Namukwaya says. ‘Even after I was admitted, my man never showed up.’
Ms Namukwaya said in the past she had suffered miscarriages, lost her husband in the 1990s, and faced stigma within her community for not having any children.
‘One time, a very young boy heckled at me saying I had been cursed by my mother to die without a child,’ she said.
Ms Namukwaya had revealed after the birth of her first child that she had been judged for not giving birth after 40 years of trying.
‘Many people judged and abused me for being barren but, I decided to leave everything to the Almighty God who has finally answered my prayers,’ she said shortly after the birth of her first daughter.
While Ms Namukwaya’s case is a rare one, it’s not the first time a woman has given birth at a more advanced age.
In 2019, Erramatti Mangayamma, from India, gave birth to twins through IVF at the age of 74 – becoming the world’s oldest mother.
Mangayamma, of Andhra Pradesh state, gave birth to two healthy baby girls with her husband of 57 years, Sitarama Rajarao at her side.
In 2019, Erramatti Mangayamma (with her husband Sitarama Rajarao who has since died), from India, gave birth to twins through IVF at the age of 74 – becoming the world’s oldest mother
Mangayamma, of Andhra Pradesh state, gave birth to two healthy girls
It is believed the Ahalya IVF clinic in Guntur city paid for most of the procedure as medics knew it would be a historic achievement.
Mangayamma has no other children and went through the menopause 30 years ago. But her husband Rajarao died of a heart attack in 2020 at the age of 84.
The previous record holder for the world’s oldest mother was Bousada de Lara, who was 66 years old when she gave birth to twin baby boys, Christian and Pau, in December 2006.
De Lara admitted lying about her age in order to receive fertility treatment at a private clinic in Los Angeles, for which she paid a reported £30,000.
The babies were delivered prematurely by caesarean section and weighed 3.5lbs (1.6kg) each.
Omkari Panwar, from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, claimed to be the oldest mother in the world when she gave birth to twins in 2008. But her claim to have been 70 was not provable.
Britain’s oldest mother is Elizabeth Adeney, from Lindgate in Suffolk, who gave birth to a son in May 2009 at the age of 66.
The NHS normally only offers the procedure to women under 43.
But some private clinics will offer IVF to women over that age.
When a woman goes through the menopause she is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.
But IVF is still possible through the use of eggs frozen earlier in the mother’s life, or eggs from a donor.