Harare clinic delivers test tube baby

HARARE - The Avenues Clinic has become the first hospital in the country to deliver a test tube baby in almost two decades after re-introducing In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) programme last year.

IVF is a process in which an egg is fertilised by sperm outside the body and the fertilised egg is later implanted into a woman’s uterus.

The baby boy was born at 29 weeks on April 2, weighing just over a kilogramme.

The woman who benefitted from IVF expressed her joy over becoming a mother.

The baby is, however, still in hospital as it needs to gain 20 more grammes, which he will likely have gained in the coming week.

IVF was stopped at the hospital in 2000 after its pioneer in the country Tony Robertson left the country.

“My husband and I had been trying to have a baby since we got married in 2012 without success,” the mother who preferred to remain anonymous said.

“I had tried everything, including herbal medicines, to get pregnant. However, I had ovarian cysts and blocked Fallopian tubes. It seemed IVF was the only answer.

“I phoned the Avenues Clinic to enquire about this and was given Dr (Tinovimba) Mhlanga’s phone number. After saving bit by bit for the procedure, I was put on the IVF programme.

“I had to inject myself to stimulate the ovaries, which was tough, but it worked out well. A scan showed there were six follicles. I went to the Avenues Clinic for the egg retrieval.

“After a few days, I was told all my eggs had fertilised in the IVF Laboratory at the Avenues Clinic. The doctors transferred three embryos into my womb. The other three were frozen.

“After 10 days, I had a blood test and it came out positive. I was so excited. I had tried so many things — both traditional and modern — but none of them had worked.

“I was also receiving pressure from my family to conceive so you can imagine how I felt when my pregnancy test came back positive. I was hoping for three babies from the three embryos.”

Mhlanga a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist praised his team for the work which he said required good coordination.

“Sister Florence Marechera is the backbone of the programme. She organises everything. The counsellors do an excellent job in counselling patients, which is an important role as undergoing IVF can be traumatic,” Mhlanga said.

Before its disruption, the programme had helped conceive 52 people who are now adults.

The IVF team is made up of Mhlanga and Robertson, both of whom are specialist obstetricians and gynaecologists; medical laboratory scientists Tinei Makurumure and Robertson’s wife, who are the embryologists, and Marechera, a nursing sister who is the programme’s counsellor and coordinator.

Comments (1)

nice. im glad all i need is conceiveeasy..

marth - 26 May 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.