10 April 2013

Namibia: Fertility Clinic Welcomes First Birth

Photo: Lauren Everitt/AllAfrica
Newly born baby (file photo).

PROMINENT Namibian gynecologist, Dr Matti Kimberg, has announced the success of the first In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) pregnancy through the Namibia Fertility Clinic which culminated in the birth of twin boys at the Rhino Park Hospital last Sunday.

The Fertility Clinic was launched in Windhoek last year to make it possible for couples faced with infertility to conceive through a process of IVF, by which the woman's egg is fertilised by her partner's sperm outside the body before it is implanted in her uterus.

"The twin boys weighing 1.32kg and 1.39kg respectively were delivered by Caesarean section," Kimberg said.

The parents did not want any photos of themselves or their babies taken for publication.

Kimberg said the birth of the twins should be an "encouragement to many childless couples who are struggling with infertility in Namibia."

"An exciting time indeed on the medical front where good news seems somewhat scarce," Kimberg said.

He added that there were more IVF births in the pipeline within the next few weeks. "These are the result of the first batch of IVF which was done during September 2012," Kimberg said.

Namibians wanting IVF in the past had to travel to neighbouring South Africa at a cost of between N$70 000 and N$80 000 to get the propcedure done. By bringing IVF to Namibia, it will cost couples more or less N$35 000 to 40 000.

"And that cost is because the drugs used to stimulate ovaries are extremely expensive. It is very difficult to cut down on that cost. We want to bring the cost within the means of the average patient," Kimberg has said.

Kimberg noted that the success rate of IVF is normally between 50-60.

Infertility was a big problem in Namibia as a result of high incidences of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), according to Kimberg.

He said the blockage of the fallopian tubes in women, meaning a thick lining around the ovaries preventing the sperm from entering the eggs, "which is a result of infection of fibroids," he said.

In Namibia, 10 percent of couples are faced with an infertility problem.

"With the equipment in the clinic, it is possible for women with blocked fallopian tubes and men with low sperm count to conceive through IVF," he said.

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