Thursday, May 12, 2011
FRANCISTOWN: A 23-year-old woman has given birth to quadruplets at Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital (NRH).
Having been Keetshepe's doctor during her labour, he said the incident was probably the first in Botswana. Dr Sekaname said it was his first time to witness and even to handle such a case in his career.
However, explaining the happenings, he said that usually people who bear multiple babies in most cases are the infertile who do not release ovaries. Due to their infertility, he said, they would be supplied with fertility pills to help accelerate the process of fertilisation, resulting in more than one egg being fertilised.
"In this case of Keetshepe, she was not given any medication. It is just a natural blessing, which, to us, came as a shock as much as an amusement," said Dr Sekaname. He further pointed out that situations like this are rare.
According to Dr Sekaname, in such cases, normally the mother's health may be jeopardised during pregnancy. "All the four children depend on their mother for minerals and everything. The mother may run short of blood and experience a condition called anaemia," he said. However, he said during pregnancy they are provided with Ferrous Folic Acid, which contains iron and more minerals to meet the needs of all the babies.
After birth, the mother may also experience a shortage of milk, but the more she breast feeds, the more she would be able to produce more milk. Dr Sekaname also mentioned that because Keetshepe's babies were tiny they had to be delivered by caesarean operation, to make sure they were delivered healthily. Sakhelabona John, a midwife who delivered the babies, said she had an experience of a lifetime. " I had never delivered more than two babies at a time. It was unusual, her abdomen could not allow for a normal birth, we had to operate but everything went smoothly," she said.
The babies, according to her, were all healthy. She said the boy came first weighing 2kg, followed by three girls weighing 1.7kg, 1.7kg and 1.4kg respectively. John said the three girls shared a placenta whilst the boy had his own. The mother of the quadruplets however, had tears in her eyes. "This came as a shock to me, I have however accepted the reality," she said. Keetshepe said she was unaware of the reality until her last days. The doctors wanted her to be scanned after saying that her tummy was larger than usual.
She said that their names are Tumelo (male), Tumo, Tumisang and Tumiso. Keetshepe said they are an addition to her four-year-old son. Her deepest worry is her economical status. She said her family is poor and cannot support her babies.
"I am unemployed so is my boyfriend. I wonder how I'll support my babies," she said. Her family does not have a history of twins but her boyfriend's cousins were twins. Keetshepe who swore never to bear children again, appealed to the public to assist her raise her babies, she asked for help of any kind.
Caiphus Gabana, public relations officer at NRH, said the quadruplets took the hospital by surprise and made the greatest history ever. Gabana said as the NRH they are elated by the experience. "The fact that our personnel managed to deliver the quadruplets safely, proves our capabilities as a hospital. We are proud to have handled this incident with perfection, our capabilities match international standards," he said. The NRH he said would organise some form of charity for Keetshepe by allowing people to give whatever they can to help her support her babies.