A 28-year-old woman has given birth to quintuplets at Kakamega County Referral Hospital. Everlyne Namukhula, who is from Sisokhe village in Navakholo Sub County, gave birth to three girls and two boys through Cesarean Section. Before the five, she was already a mother of four children, two of whom are twins.
“I am happy, and I thank God for blessing me with five children at once. We have many people who would want to have children, but they are unable to get due to health challenges,” Ms. Namukhula said.
When she went for an ultrasound, doctors found she was carrying three children, but when Namukhula went into delivery, she delivered five babies.
Namukhula’s case borrows closely from that of a Ugandan woman, Mariam Nabatanzi, who has 44 children including four sets of triplets, three sets of quadruplets, six sets of twins. Mariam first gave birth a year after getting married, to twins. Two years down the line, she again gave birth, this time to triplets and months later she got quadruplets! By her sixth delivery, she already had 18 children.
Quintuplets can be identical, fraternal or sometimes a combination of both. In cases of identical multiple deliveries, also known as monozygotic, a fertilized egg splits into two or more embryos. It is possible for the split to occur more than once resulting in monozygotic triplets or the rare set of monozygotic quintuplets.
Multi-zygotic quintuplets (fraternal quintuplets) occur from five different egg and sperm combinations, meaning every embryo is unique and does not resemble in any way. Multi-zygotic quintuplets can, however, share sex as they can be all male, all female or a combination of both. The monozygotic quintuplets are of the same gender.
Like the case of Ms. Namukhula, most quintuplets are a combination of girls and boys; all female or all female quintuplets are rare. The first set ever was of an all-female-quintuplets born in the United States in 2015.
According to Doctor Githinji Kongo, such cases are rare, and most are hereditary.
Ms. Namukhula babies weighed between 1.2kg and 1.6kg, and they have been put in the incubator.
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