The Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Dr. Jide Idris, has unveiled new regulations and guidelines to guide assisted fertility practice in the state to ensure they are safe and effective.
Speaking at the launch of the policy document, Idris said the guidelines came into existence as a result of the collaborative efforts of private practitioners in fertility medicine and experts in the public sector.
He said: “There is need to protect members of the public from falling prey to quacks who parade themselves as experts in fertility medicine prompted the Government to intervene. Many have fallen prey to those who have no medical training at all as well as those who have some form of medical training but without expertise in reproductive medicine.”
He stated that the state government, since 2017, had been involved in several enlightenment and sensitisation campaigns to educate the populace against falling prey to quacks who feign as professionals.
According to him, “as a responsive and responsible government, we have decided to intervene to stem the tide in order to bring sanity to this aspect of medical practice in the State.
“There is a need for us to regulate the practice. We need to put sanity to protect the citizenry.”.
The commissioner explained that the determination of the state government to actively participate in the use of advanced procedures, technologies and research for evidence-based management of medical conditions prompted it to inaugurate a committee in 2013 to conduct a literature and desk review on advanced medical procedures and research in the state.
He explained that another committee was constituted in the same year to review the recommendations of the committee on advanced medical procedure as well as carry out research on in-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and surrogate motherhood. This, according to him, coupled with massive consultations with relevant stakeholders, culminated in the new regulations and guidelines.
While commending all those who contributed to the birth of the document, Idris gave assurance that the guideline would go a long way in protecting patients and their children, allay public fears and help in guiding the practice.
He advised said a periodic review of the document was necessary to align with new developments in ART practice in the world.
In his remarks, Dr. Donald Imosemi said it was mandatory for all health facilities offering ART services in Lagos State to register with the Ministry of Health, insisting that they must comply strictly with the guidelines.
Present at the event were the immediate past President, Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health (AFRH), Dr. Faye Iketubosin; current President, Dr. Ibrahim Wada; General Secretary of the association, Mrs. Abiola Adewusi; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Mrs. Titilayo Goncalves, as well as the Executive Secretary, Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA), Dr. Abiola Idowu, among others.