Posted by: Our Reporter
on April 18, 2013
Quintuplets and two health facilities dramatise a cheer for Nigeria
and four months old, born of the same parents at the same time. The uncommon story of the Shofunlayo quintuplets –Eyitayo, Eyitope, Eyitomini, Eyimofe and Eyidayo- is the stuff of news, and they are likely to stay in the spotlight because of the circumstances of their birth. Against all odds, they survived at birth in 2011, which has earned them the titillating tag, “Five Alive.”
The two boys and three girls made history as the first quintuplets born at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos, although they were conceived through Assisted Reproduction at Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. It is fascinating that the fifth in the line was not expected as their mother’s last scan had shown she was, in her own words, “carrying four babies.” Equally remarkable is the fact that during the Caesarian Section (CS) on her, it took the expertise of the medical team headed by Prof. Godwin Ajayi to locate and bring out the unexpected baby.
“We can do a lot of things in Nigeria, if we believe,” said the kids’ father, Wale Shofunlayo, a lawyer, who had been reportedly advised to fly his wife to India for safe delivery. His faith in Nigerian doctors eventually paid off, and he deserves kudos for his patriotic spirit. This impressive belief in the country’s health care system, despite its often publicised shortcomings, it should be observed, happened in the context of a 17-year wait for a child. It can only be imagined what level of courage and confidence made him to defy the alleged risks connected with having the children in the country. He was, after all, to go by reports, perhaps in a position to afford overseas medical attention for his wife. “For about seven months, my wife was admitted at LUTH for bed rest and I was able to pay,” he said. Also, it is a matter for conjecture the financial cost he had to bear by using the Nordica Fertility Centre, which is a private medical facility.
nship. He said: “I will say kudos to the doctors and nurses for their efforts and consistency. They have really shown that Nigeria is not lagging behind in the preservation of human lives. I am satisfied with the services rendered before and after delivery. “
Shofunlayo’s good words didn’t end there. According to him, “The only thing the doctors did was to get their hand gloves and get going. None of them requested for any gratification. This is my first experience in a public hospital and it is the best place for anybody to come for treatment.”
His testimony is certainly heart-warming; it calls for greater belief in the country’s health care system, and, indeed, greater faith in the country. It is interesting that the quintuplets were conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at a local fertility centre and born in a local hospital. It shows, without doubt, that the country is not lacking either in equipment or expertise in this area. This is a picture of possibilities that should be inspiring across various sectors.
0th anniversary just a few days after the passage of Robert Edwards, the co-founder of the 35-year-old IVF technique and British Nobel laureate who died on April 10 at age 87