Margaret Adenuga, 68, and her husband Noah Adenuga, 77, holding their twins. [Courtesy]
A picture of an elderly couple holding two newborns while looking at a phone camera has been circulating on WhatsApp of late, with several captions indicating that the woman gave birth to the children at a Kisii hospital.
“A 64-year-old woman, Patricia Kemunto, gave birth to twins at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital. Congratulations to mama, who has broken the Guinness World Record for giving birth at the age of 64. Until the birth of the twins, her lastborn child was 42 years old,” said one of the viral captions.
The date when the said-births were registered wasn’t given in the viral reports.
The Standard’s Fact Check has established that the reports suggesting the woman hails from Kisii in Kenya are false.
The picture first surfaced online in April 2020, when American broadcaster CNN published the story of the couple on its website.
CNN identified the pair as a Nigerian couple named Noah Adenuga, 77, and Margaret Adenuga, 68.
According to the broadcaster, Margaret gave birth to the twins, a boy and a girl, through IVF. She had unsuccessfully attempted three IVFs, and was lucky on the fourth trial.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of assistive reproductive technology. It involves retrieving eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilising them with sperm. This fertilised egg is known as an embryo. The embryo can then be frozen for storage or transferred to a woman’s uterus.
Margaret’s husband Noah Adenuga, 77 told CNN that he and his wife had long desired to have a child of their own, since they exchanged wedding vows in 1974.
CNN reported that the babies were delivered via caesarian section at 37 weeks on April 21, 2020 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
The hospital, however, withheld the information from the public to “give the first-time mother time to recuperate”.
Dr. Adeyemi Okunowo, who delivered the babies, told the US news outlet that a specialist team was assembled at the hospital to monitor the pregnancy because of her age.
“As an elderly woman and a first-time mother, it was a high-risk pregnancy and also because she was going to have twins but we were able to manage her pregnancy to term,” Dr. Okunowo said.
On May 10, 2020, the story was published on CGTN-Africa website.
The new mother, Margaret, was quoted as saying that she had waited for 46 years to get her first child.
“I never lost hope any day anyway. I used to tell him (husband) that before we move out of where we are living, we are going to carry our baby. Our baby will leave with us. Not only one. They are going to be two. And I’m a church-goer. So in church I used to see many testimonies that there is nothing God cannot do. So I have faith in that. I stood on my faith that God will do it,” she said.