The Bulawayo Assisted Reproductive Technology (BART) Centre delivered its first baby last week after introducing the in vitro fertilisation (IVF) programme in December last year.
The IVF clinic is the second such health facility in the country to offer services to couples faced with infertility to deliver what are termed test tube babies.
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is the most common and most effective type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) to help women become pregnant.
The IVF procedure involves fertilizing an egg outside the body, in a laboratory dish, and then implanting it in a woman’s uterus.
The gynaecologist in charge of the centre, Dr Jephat Moyo, confirmed that baby Mia was born last Wednesday at the clinic.
“We’re excited to announce that we’ve successfully delivered our first baby,” he said. “Although she came two weeks earlier, everything went according to plan, both mother and baby are healthy and we’re happy.
Dr Moyo said he was happy with the response received and success recorded by the facility since its inception in December last year.
He urged people in Matabeleland region to take advantage of the BART centre.
“We’re sitting at between 30 and 50 percent success rate at this clinic and we’re happy with the progress so far,” said Dr Moyo.
“We established this unit to address the challenge of infertility which affects 20 percent of couples worldwide. I, therefore, encourage couples struggling to conceive to take advantage of this centre.”
Dr Moyo said the centre’s charges were the same as those charged by fertility centres in South Africa and other countries.
Ms Gail Oxden (40) from Fortunesgate in Bulawayo said she was overwhelmed by the arrival of her new baby girl.
“My husband and I had been trying to have a baby for some time,” she said. “We’re so excited about Mia and we’re grateful to Dr Moyo for taking us through this amazing process.
“I had three children before Mia and my husband had never had children. I had cervical issues and I was told by doctors that it was impossible for me to have children again.
“My husband and I had gone for a long time trying to have a child. I got to know about BART clinic and I decided to enquire and get better understanding. When I got there I asked Dr Moyo several questions. After some serious considerations I asked Dr Moyo if they could take me on.”
Ms Oxden commended Dr Moyo for establishing the fertility clinic and urged couples struggling to have children to consider the clinic for assistance.
Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa visited the BART centre early this year and commended Dr Moyo for establishing the clinic, saying the institution was long overdue.
The first baby in the world to be conceived through in vitro fertilisation, Louise Brown, was born in 1978 in Manchester in the United Kingdom.
The second successful test tube baby birth occurred 67 days later in India.