Thursday, December 10, 2009
Photo: Lagos 2009
Like most other large cities in Nigeria, when traffic stops in Lagos, street vendors trickle their ways into the streets. I have seen street vendors selling anything from phone chargers and wall clocks to fried plantains and boiled eggs. As we drove out of the Lagos airport we saw these two ladies, both with twins(Ibeji) on their hips asking for food for their children.
Two studies conducted about three decades ago estimate that Nigeria has the highest twin birth rates in the world (Golding, 1990; Naylander, 1978). A town nearly 50 miles north of Lagos boast the highest incidence of twin births. The dizygotic twin birth rates vary by region but monozygotic birth rates are constant around the world.
In the scientific community there are many hypothesis regarding environmental factors that determine multiple birth rates. Similarly, most Nigerians have their own impression of why so many western Nigerians give birth to twins. A few people mentioned that the yoruba
diet was the main factor, while others suggested various enviromental factors.
Golding, J. (1990) Factors associated with twinning and other multiple birth. In Golding, J. (ed.), Social and Biological Effects on Perinatal Mortality. Vol. III. Perinatal Analyses. Bristol University, Bristol, pp. 21-66
Naylander, P.P.S. (1978) Causes of high twinning frequencies in Nigeria. In Nance, W.E., Allen, G. and Parisi, P. (eds), Twin Research. Part B: Biology and Epidemiology. Alan R. Liss, New York, pp. 35-43.
Posted by Khalid at 10:51 AM