Exactly 17 years after she was born through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Nigeria’s first test-tube baby, Miss Hannatu Kupchi, has decided to study medicine so she can be of greater help to families in frantic search of babies of their own.
Kupchi’s birth on February 11, 1998 at Nisa Premier Hospital in Abuja, signalled a major milestone in medical practice in Nigeria, a feat which opened the gateway to many such scientifically-aided child deliveries in the country.
Speaking during a reception organised in her honour by the Nisa Hospital management on Sunday, Kupchi said she had secured admission to study medicine at a Hungarian university.
In an emotion-laden speech, Kupchi said her desire to study medicine stemmed from her immense love for children and motherhood.
An elated Kupchi promised to break barriers and become a doctor in order to help families and parents who are unable to give birth through the traditional means.
She said by her birth, misconceptions about IVF were broken and that many more children had been brought into this world as well.
“I barely made it beyond the cut off mark. God helped me. I am going to try my best and make everyone proud. I am studying medicine because I want to be a doctor. I want to study it because I want God to use me to help families who suffered what my parents went through,” she said.
In his remark during a brief reception and presentation of an award to Kupchi, the Medical Director of Nisa Hospital, Dr. Wada said: “It is very difficult to make a statement on a day like this. When I was out of this country, I knew there were people who wanted babies. I made the decision to come back to Nigeria to help people. It happened on the 11th of February 1998 when this historic event occurred at this hospital.
“The baby of that historic day is going to become a doctor. Because the parents stood firm, we were able to help others. You gave us government recognition and that was important. It was the first time that a federal minister came to receive a baby in Nigeria. I want to assure you (Hannatu), when you graduate, there is an automatic employment when you finish your medicine in Europe.”
According to Wada, the medical doctor that supervised the first IVF experiment in Nigeria, Kupchi’s birth on February 11, 1998 at the hospital, signalled a significant change in the medical field in Nigeria.
In his emotional remarks, Mr. Hosea Kupchi, father of Hannatu, said: “We had 13 years of marriage without a child and we went through the orthodox method without any success. But along the line, my sister-in-law told me that there is one Dr. Wada that has been helping couples. That is how we came.
“Then challenges came again on how to let the world know that we have achieved this feat locally here in Nigeria. There are a lot of couples out there that are not ready to speak out. One, there is issue of stigmatisation, but I said to myself that nobody can change my belief,” he said.