Mariam Nabatanzi, known as Mama Uganda, gained worldwide attention for her extraordinary fertility. At the age of 13, she became a mother to her first set of twins, and over the years, she went on to give birth to a total of 44 children. Unfortunately, Mariam now finds herself raising her massive family alone after her husband deserted them, taking all their money with him. Her story is a reflection of the high fertility rates in Uganda, where the average number of children per woman is 5.6, more than double the global average.
Mariam’s extreme fertility is attributed to a condition called hyperovulation, which causes the release of multiple eggs during a single cycle. Doctors discovered that she had abnormally large ovaries, making her highly susceptible to multiple births. Conventional birth control methods were deemed ineffective and potentially harmful to her. In an attempt to regulate her fertility levels, doctors surgically removed her uterus to prevent further pregnancies.
Despite the hardships she faces as a single mother, Mariam’s story sheds light on the complexities of fertility and the unique challenges some individuals may encounter. Her case also underscores the importance of reproductive health education and access to comprehensive family planning services, particularly in regions with high fertility rates.