Avenues Clinic, a health institution in Harare, Zimbabwe has recorded a first, after it conducted the country´s successful test tube fertilization procedure, culminating in the birth of a healthy baby last month.
The procedure, better known as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), was reintroduced in the country last year by a team of medical staff led by Tinovimba Mhlanga after it was discontinued in the 1990s.
IVF is a medical procedure, where a woman’s eggs and her husband’s semen are brought together outside the womb in a dish in a laboratory.
According to staff at the hospital, the baby, though born prematurely at 29 weeks on April 2, weighing slightly over a kilogramme, did not require any assistance with breathing.
His mother, who had been trying to have a baby since she was married about five years ago, is hoping to be able to take him home this week. He needs to gain another 20 grammes in weight before he can be discharged.
“My husband and I had been trying to have a baby since we got married in 2012 without success. I had tried everything, including herbal medicines, to get pregnant. However, I had ovarian cysts and blocked fallopian tubes.
It seemed in vitro fertilisation was the only answer,” said the baby’s mother, speaking on condition of anonymity.
She also said she would like to donate ova to the programme for the benefit of women, who are unable to produce eggs.
Mhlanga said the pregnancy rate from the programme was now about the same as in countries, where IVF was well established. More births under this programme are expected in the coming months.
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