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‘I gave birth at 70 thanks to IVF – but my partner left because it was twins’

Safina Namukwaya gave birth to twins at 70 after IVF treatment
Safina Namukwaya delivered twins at a fertility centre in Kampala

A 70-year-old woman in Uganda has given birth to twins after IVF treatment, making her what is believed to be the oldest mother in Africa.

Safina Namukwaya delivered a boy and a girl via caesarean at a fertility centre in the capital, Kampala, the hospital said.

Ms Namukwaya told local media it was a “miracle”.

Her delivery makes her three years younger than the woman thought to be the world’s oldest mother, who gave birth aged 73 to twins in 2019, having conceived through IVF.

The hospital said: “We’ve achieved the extraordinary – delivering twins to Africa’s oldest mother aged 70! Mother and babies are all well.”

Safina Namukwaya recovering after having twins in Kampala, Uganda
Safina Namukwaya recovering under the care of doctors after having twins in Kampala

Ms Namukwaya said she had struggled with miscarriages in the past, but had given birth to another IVF baby girl three years ago.

However, she said her partner had abandoned her during her latest pregnancy when it became clear she would give birth to twins.

She said: “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 told local media she had wanted to have children after being mocked for being 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 became elderly.

“One time a very young boy... heckled at me, saying I had been cursed by my mother to die without a child.”

Ms Namukwaya said she did not know how she would manage to raise her new children.

She said: “I really don’t know. You see, God is in charge.

“You can have one child and feel overwhelmed. Here I am with twins at a time I am weak, a time I am unable to go to my garden to grow food for sale. But they say every child comes with their blessings.”

Oldest mother gave birth at 73

In 2019, 73-year-old Mangayamma Yaramati reportedly gave birth to twin girls in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, following IVF treatment.

Mrs Yaramati said she and her husband, who was 82 at the time, had always wanted children but had been unable to conceive.

The couple’s two daughters, Rama Tulasi and Uma Tulasi, were born by caesarean section on September 5 2019.

Mrs Yaramati said later: “Holding them for the first time was beautiful. We were kept in hospital for a couple of weeks so doctors could make sure the three of us were healthy, but thankfully we were then allowed home.

“At first it was hard. The doctor told me not to breastfeed, as it would put pressure on my body, so I used milk banks. The sleepless nights were relentless, but I found meditation helped.”

However, her husband, Raja, died a year after the birth, at the age of 84.

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