A 38-year-old man, Mr Nwaka Ogbonnaya, has urged governments, philanthropists, politicians and churches to help him settle the medical bills he incurred when his wife was delivered of a set of quintuplets in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
The man, a provisions trader at Alaba International Market in Owerri, the Imo State capital, said it would be a Herculean task to raise the children amidst the prevalent harsh economy in the country.
He described the quintuplets as the result of his answered prayer after four years of waiting to have children.
Ogbonnaya said: “It is a thing of joy, not of tears. It is God’s gift because God does not give His gifts with sorrows. We prayed for a child after four years we had our first child, Precious. But we never anticipated five at a go.
“I am extremely happy for this bundle of joy. The mixture is actually what we prayed for: three boys and two girls. They are now six because we already had a female child. It’s now three boys and three girls. I am now a fulfilled man and I glorify God for His mercies.
“It is not easy to handle five children at once, no matter how rich you are. I need people’s assistance, especially companies that produce baby food.”
A fertility expert and In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialist, Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu, supervised the delivery.
The expert said it was the first time a quintuplets was delivered at the facility.
He said: “We give all thanks to God for this miracle. The woman conceived 36 weeks ago following assisted reproductive technology and, by God’s grace, she has five embryos and foetus developed.
“One of the marvellous things in her pregnancy is that the woman has been in good health throughout this period. She has been in admission in this hospital for the past two weeks, essentially for us to allow more time for foetus maturity. Today, we delivered them.
“This is bringing to over 130 babies delivered through this method in this facility in Awka as well as Nnewi.”
The 34-year-old mother of the babies, Mrs Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, from Enugu Ukwu, Njikoka Local Government Area, said her husband’s business was at the verge of collapse due to the financial burden the medical bills had exerted on it.
She said: “When I was told the result of the scan, my heart bled. I appeal to Anambra deputy governor, my brother, Dr Nkem Okeke, and our traditional ruler, Igwe Ralph Ekpe, as well as other good-spirited individuals and religious organisations to come to our aid.”