Nalongo Muzaala Bana (the twin mother that produces quadruples) is what Mariam Nabatanzi Babirye goes by where she resides in Kabimbiri village, Mukono District in Uganda.
At 37, Nabatanzi has 38 children whom she has delivered from home except the last born who is four months old.
She was delivered by caesarean section. Among her children are six sets of twins, four sets of triplets, three sets of quadruples and single births.
Ten of these are girls and the rest are boys. The oldest is 23 years old while the youngest four months.
She was married off at 12 years of age after surviving death; allegedly at her stepmother’s hands who apparently pounded glass and mixed it in the food she gave Nabatanzi and her four siblings.
Fortunately, she was away unlike her siblings who ate the food and died on the spot.
In 1993, she was married off to a 40-year-old man.
“I did not know I was being married off. People came home and brought things for my father,” she recalls.
Being only a young girl, she found marriage a difficult task in the new family.
In 1994, when she was 13, Nabatanzi gave birth to twins.
Two years later, she gave birth to triplets and a year and seven months after that added a set of quadruplets.
This, she says, was nothing strange to her because she had seen it before in her lineage.
“My father gave birth to 45 children with different women and these all came in quintuplets, quadruples, twins and triplets,” she says.
Indeed, Dr Charles Kiggundu, a gynecologist at Mulago Hospital and President of gynaecologists and obstetricians in Uganda, says it is very possible for Nabatanzi to have taken after her father.
“Her case is genetic predisposition to hyper-ovulate (releasing multiple eggs in one cycle), which significantly increases the chance of having multiples; it is always genetic,” he explains.
By her sixth delivery, Nabatanzi had had 18 children and wanted to stop, so, she went to see a doctor at Namaliili Hospital.
The doctor told Nabatanzi that she could not be stopped then because she had a high ovary count, which would eventually kill her if she stopped.
“Having these unfertilised eggs accumulate poses not only a threat to destroy the reproductive system but can also make the woman lose their lives,” Dr Ahmed Kikomeko from Kawempe General Hospital explains.
“I was advised to keep producing since putting this on hold would mean death,” she explains.
Full story: nation.co.ke