Seventeen years after she was born through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) Nigeria’s first test tube baby, Miss. Hannatu Kupchi has secured an admission into a Hungarian university to study medicine.
According to Dr. Ibrahim Wada, the medical doctor that supervised the first IVF experiment in Nigeria, Hannatu’s birth on February 11 1998 at Nisa Premier Hospital in Abuja, signaled a significant change in the medical field in Nigeria.
Speaking in Abuja at a brief reception and presentation of an award to Hannatu Kupchi, 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.”
Responding, Miss 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 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 inlaw 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 light the candle and put it under the bed.”