Gender Gender

55-year-old delivers through IVF

MARGARET CHISANGA, Lusaka
THE Lusaka IVF and fertility clinic (LIFC) has recorded the oldest successful birth after a 55-year-old woman delivered a baby girl.
The clinic provides assisted reproductive therapy to couples that have challenges with conceiving, among others.
Theresa Mutale, who has been married for 27 years, suffered two ectopic pregnancies in 1988 and 1992 respectively.
“However, I never lost hope that I would one day be a mother. My journey up to today started after I watched Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya encouraging couples experiencing problems with conceiving to visit the hospital during a programme on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Television (ZNBC).
“The minister said a team of doctors from Uganda were in the country, and were doing this and that, I made a decision to visit them,” she said in an interview.
Her husband is 58 years old.
Mrs Mutale said soon after watching the programme, she approached LIFC and started the treatment process.
“It was my first attempt [at assisted reproductive therapy] and it was a positive. When I was told that it is positive, I jumped. I had to hug doctor Gilbert Ahimbisibwe, who is the clinic’s resident doctor, because I never expected this,” she said.
Mrs Mutale said it is encouraging that such treatment is now available in Zambia.
“It has been my prayer because a long time ago, I used to hear the procedure was being conducted in South Africa and I questioned why not in Zambia? And so, when I heard the minister talk about it on TV, I was glad and took advantage of the opportunity,” Mrs Mutale said.
Dr Ahimbisibwe said the clinic staff are privileged to be part of the happiness that the Mutale family is experiencing.
“This we attribute to the highest standards of care that we offer, the level of specialisation and advanced skills of our medical personnel and the high quality of fertility treatments at our centre,” Dr Ahimbisibwe said.
He said LIFC has been in existence for two years and during this period, it has recorded over 100 babies and has other ongoing pregnancies. Out of these, 15 are sets of twins and eight sets of triplets
“While women less than 35 years are usually better candidates for fertility treatment, it is possible that even women over 40 years can conceive using fertility treatment,” he said.

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