A couple in Kakamega County are in shock and elated after the wife gave birth to five babies; three boys and two girls at the county’s Referral Hospital.
The woman, Everlyne Namukhula said that she went for an ultra sound that revealed she was carrying three babies only to give birth to the quintuplets through Caeserean Section on Wednesday.
“I thank God for giving me five children at a go. I am very happy. Many people out there want to have children but are unable because of health challenges,” said the 28 year old.
Her husband, Herbert Nabwire who was shocked by the quintuplets birth has termed it as a blessing from God.
Before the rare birth, the couple already had four children, with two being twins.
“We now have nine kids, and they are a blessing from God. It is my plea to the county government to admit the mother and the children in plans that will cater for their nutritional needs because I am disabled (hearing challenge) with no stable income,” said Mr Nabwire.
The newly born infants weigh between 1.2kg to 1.6kg and have been put in incubators as their mother is recuperating.
The natural occurrence of quintuplets globally is 1:55 million births, research shows. This is the second case of quintuplets born in Sub Saharan Africa with the first case being reported in Uganda late last year.
The birth of multiple babies at once can be caused naturally when the woman ovulates several eggs, or in the case where fertilized eggs split into two. Some of those cases are hereditary.
Other reasons include: use of infertility treatment such as IVF, whereby several embryos are transferred to make up for the lower quality or the use of fertility drugs that can cause multiple eggs to mature in one ovulatory cycle.
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Moreover, women over the age of 35 are reported to have more multiple births than younger women because of the higher level of follicle-stimulating hormone(FSH) (used to measure menopause) as their ovaries respond more slowly to the hormone FSH stimulation.
Additionally, a multiple birth can lead to financial constraints to poor families and more expenditure in hospitals.
Multiple birth, first and foremost, are done through C-Section which is more expensive compared to the natural delivery and require more care and time in the healing duration.
In many cases, the women do not carry the pregnancy to full term as once the weight of the babies in the womb reaches approximately 5.5kg, the uterus goes into labour.
Research has reported that multiple births are often known to have a higher mortality rate, with common cases being stillbirths.
Multiple births also cause health issues to babies who are born prematurely, with low birth weight, incomplete separation (conjoined twins) or cerebral palsy among others.