Safina Namukwaya is a 70-year-old woman from Uganda who has defied the odds and delivered healthy twins on Wednesday. She is believed to be the oldest mother in Africa, according to her doctor, Edward Tamale Sali.
Safina underwent fertility treatment at the Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Centre in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. She was overjoyed to welcome a boy and a girl, who are still under the care of the hospital staff.
“This is an extraordinary achievement, delivering twins to Africa’s oldest mother at 70 years,” Dr. Sali told AFP, the news agency. He said the mother and babies were in good health.
Safina, who lives in the rural area of Masaka, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Kampala, said she was grateful for the miracle of the twins. She told AFP by phone: “There is no way to express my joy at this moment. At 70 years when I’m considered weak, unable to get pregnant and deliver, or look after a baby, and here is a miracle of the twins.”
Safina had faced ridicule and stigma for being childless for most of her life. She said her first husband died in 1992 without leaving her any children, and she met her current partner in 1996. She gave birth to a girl in 2020, after receiving fertility treatment from the same hospital.
However, Safina was disappointed that her partner did not visit her at the hospital after the delivery of the twins.
She said: “Maybe he is not happy that I delivered twins because men don’t want to know you are carrying more than one child in a womb for fear of maybe responsibilities that come with that.”
Safina’s story is a rare and remarkable one, as most women lose their ability to conceive naturally after menopause, which usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. However, with the help of assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), some women can achieve pregnancy even at an advanced age.
The oldest woman in the world to give birth is Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara, who delivered twins in Spain in 2006 at the age of 66. She died of cancer two years later. The oldest woman in India to give birth is Daljinder Kaur, who had a son in 2016 at the age of 72. She and her husband had been trying to have a child for 46 years.