Mrs. Ramat Jamiu’s joy knew no bounds when she was delivered of a bouncing baby boy in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State. Her bundle of joy had arrived after nine tormenting years of childlessness and anxiety.
The nursing mother had cause to be grateful to the doctors at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, whose expertise had ensured the safe delivery in the first place.
Jamiu’s baby is the product of the hospital’s first successful attempt at In-Vitro Fertilisation. With this feat, the UITH officially joins the list of teaching hospitals that have undergone this medical procedure in the country. The others are the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos; Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State, and the University College Hospital, Ibadan , Oyo State.
In an interview with our correspondent on Friday, Jamiu admitted that initially she had refused to undergo the treatment. Eventually, she decided to give it a try after the doctors told her that IVF was her only chance of having a baby of her own – husband, a professor of Islamic and Arabic Studies at the Kwara State University, encouraged her, she noted.
The ‘brand new’ nursing mother said she had visited several private hospitals in Kano, Abuja and Lagos – in search of a solution to her childlessness and had spent a lot of money, but failed to achieve any positive result until her husband advised her to try a teaching hospital.
She said, “It is a shameful experience not to have a baby after several years of marriage. But thank God, I am happy now that I have a baby of my own. I have been to hospitals across the country. I spent so much money, but in vain. Eventually God answered my prayer and things worked well for me at UITH. For the couples who are having difficulty in child birth, they should know that God is capable of giving them a child. When God says your time has come, nothing will stop it.”
Still relishing the arrival of her baby, Jamiu urged Nigerians to have more faith in the public healthcare system. She advised fertility-challenged couples to take advantage of the benefits of modern medicine to solve their problems.
She said there was no reason for Nigerians to seek medical treatment abroad since the local hospitals were capable of handling their cases at cheaper costs.
So far, over five million babies have been born, via IVF, in the world since the birth of the first test tube baby, Louise Brown, in a London Hospital in 1978. Also, an estimated 2000 babies have been born through the same procedure in Nigeria.
The consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the UITH, Dr. Lukman Omotayo, said Jamiu was managed by the hospital for about one year before she had the baby through a Caesarian Section last Friday.
Omokanye said, “Infertility in marriage is not just for the woman; both the husband and the wife must be involved to achieve any form of success. That is what happened in this case; we had her husband cooperation all the way.”
He said that after several consultations with the woman and her husband and every possible case of gynaecological deformity had been ruled out, the hospital had decided to try IVF.
“Fortunately we found out that the husband’s sperm, in spite of his age, could fertilise his wife’s eggs and that she also had viable eggs that could be fertilised by sperm. So, we were expecting a fruitful result. The procedure is to get fertilisable eggs from her. It took us one month.
“First, she was down-regulated with a drug called Suprefact® for 14 days. We prepared her for eggs collection and subsequently we did micro epididymal sperm aspiration to obtain sperm from the spouse to fertilise her eggs through a procedure called intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection.
“We injected the sperm into each egg. This was then incubated for 72 hours and confirmed evidence of fertilisation. After 72 hours, it became an embryo. This was later transferred into her womb. That is what eventually developed into pregnancy. Pregnancy was confirmed after two weeks of transfer into the womb.”
Omotayo said that prior to delivery, Jamiu had been coming to the clinic every two weeks to ensure that the baby was fine because, according to him, the pregnancy was very special.
He said that the pregnancy was uneventful, meaning that there was no complication, apart from the conventional challenges of pregnancy, such as abdominal discomfort and occasional body weakness.
Omotayo said , “We confirmed that she was carrying a baby boy after 18 weeks. She was meant to deliver on August 16, but this kind of special baby could not be allowed to go through the stress of labour. Another thing about this pregnancy is that the baby was coming as a breech (a baby comes with the feet as opposed to the head). However, there were no hitches during delivery. He weighed 3.25kg. This is a memorable day in the history of UITH as the centre also witnessed the inauguration of several projects.”
Also, the UITH Chief Medical Director, Prof. Abdulwaheed Olatinwo, described the development as another major breakthrough recorded by the institution in its quest for medical advancement.
He said, “I am very happy for the family and UITH. We are happy that we were able to do this. For a very long time, we kept our competence and capability in assisted reproductive technology low so that there would not be much noise.
“This is the beginning of good things to come. I said with prayers and the support of people, by the grace of God, before the end of the year, we should have the first baby through laboratory procedure.”
Olatinwo said the UITH was capable of assisting more mothers in Kwara State and beyond to achieve conception. He added that the hospital had also bought some modern medical equipment for this purpose.