Miracle Babies: Meet the 70-Year-Old Ugandan Woman Who Gave Birth to Twins

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70-year-old Ugandan woman, Safina Namukwaya shocked the world after she returned home with her newborn twins after undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). The twins, a boy and a girl, were delivered via cesarean section at the Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Center in Kampala, Uganda. The babies were discharged about a week later, each weighing over 5 pounds, as confirmed by Namukwaya’s fertility specialist, Dr. Edward Tamale Sali.

Dr. Sali expressed joy over Namukwaya’s new role, noting, “She can’t stop staring at them.” He described her as a “loving” and “playful” mother. Namukwaya named her daughter Shakira Babiyre Nabagala and her son Kato Shafique Kangave, with Babiyre and Kato as their nicknames. In her rural village, she will now be known as Nalongo, meaning mother of twins, while her husband, Walusimbi Badru, will be called Salongo, or father of twins.

At a press conference outside the hospital, Dr. Sali humorously noted Namukwaya’s quick recovery, stating, “She’s now almost playing football.” He emphasized her excellent health, saying, “She’s fit, her blood pressure is normal, she’s not diabetic — she’s a very healthy woman and the whole of Africa is rejoicing for her.”

Namukwaya’s resilience and health were highlighted by her ability to walk on the same day she delivered her twins. “If you want another child, we’re here,” Dr. Sali joked during the press conference.

Dr. Gloria Lunyolo, the babies’ pediatrician, described the twins as “miracle babies,” and mentioned that they are being nourished with a combination of formula and breast milk. Namukwaya, through an interpreter, expressed her joy two days after giving birth, saying, “Some might argue that 70 years is old, but God decided that I get to have twins at 70. There is no one that can put a limit on God’s authority and power.”

Namukwaya, who also has a 3-year-old daughter, acknowledged the strong support network she has, stating, “Some households will be helping me with washing and the babies because of my advanced age.”

The journey to motherhood at such an advanced age involved IVF, where Namukwaya used donor eggs and her husband’s sperm. Dr. Sali explained, “We implanted four embryos, and then of course, she conceived the twins.”

While Namukwaya’s story is celebrated in Uganda, it has sparked debate in the medical community. In the United States, the upper age limit for IVF is generally in the mid-50s, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) discourages embryo transfer in women over 55. Dr. Brian Levine from New York City’s fertility clinic CCRM commented, “It is irresponsible to impregnate a 70-year-old woman,” citing elevated health risks for both mother and children.

Despite the controversy, Dr. Sali defended his decision to treat Namukwaya, stating, “It’s her human right. It’s her body. She’s physically fit.”

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