In a bid to dispel misconceptions and myths about infertility and to promote public interest in reproductive medicine across Nigeria, the Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health (AFRH) recently held its maiden public enlightenment programme in Lagos.
The event, titled, “The Fertility Forum”, was attended by stakeholders in the reproductive medical care in the country including fertility specialists, patients, intending patients and counsellors, among others. It was also aimed at educating the public on the activities of AFRH, which are geared towards ensuring safe ethical fertility treatment practices in Nigeria.
According to the association, a committee has been set up to monitor and inspect IVF practices in Lagos State to ensure conformity with published guidelines and to make recommendation of clinics that have met the minimum standards for accreditation by government.
At the forum, a Fertility Specialist at George’s Memorial Medical Centre, Dr. Faye Iketubosin, said: “infertility has been classified as a disease by World Health Organisation (WHO). One of the problems the infertile couple have is the lack of access to proper treatment and lack of access to knowledge about their conditions.
“In this country, we’ve had an explosion of fertility practitioners both recognised and unrecognised and there are a lot of myths that go with infertility.
“So what we want to do today is to give information about infertility in general and its causes, what you should do, when you should act, and also to give the public opportunity to ask us questions about their concerns and experiences and we will be happy to answer them.”
Also on the sidelines of the event, Chairman of AFRH Training Committee, Dr. Lateef Akinola, stated: “We have an association that is passionate about care of patients, making sure that infertile patients get the best of care. We have a lot of myths going on in Nigeria about fertility and where to get the correct treatment. So we want to put things right by interfacing with the public to explain to them what infertility is, what the causes are, where to go for treatment, and what kind of treatment they can take.”
Speaking on the high cost of getting fertility treatment in the country, Akinola pointed out the difficulty in mitigating cost of treatment, and explained that most of the things they use to treat infertility – the drugs, scan machine, the x-ray, MRI scan, tablets, injections, hormones were imported and very expensive.