Doctors seek law to protect infertility patients in Nigeria – Iketubosun
Yolamchi Ukaga, Aba
The Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health of Nigeria (AFRH), says it is working with the National Assembly to enact a law to protect fertility patients from extortion by quacks.
The president of AFRH, Prof. Faye Iketubosun, made this known Sunday, at the official opening of Life Point Fertility Centre, Aba, the commercial hub of Abia state.
Represented at the event, by Dr Preye Feibai, a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and first vice president, AFRH, he stated that infertility exposed women to emotional trauma and vulnerability to extortion and abuse in a country where everyone claims to treat the condition, hence the need for a law to protect the patients.
Iketubosun, in a lecture titled, “The fight against infertility in Africa; a call for collaboration”, observed that the incidence of infertility in Nigeria required urgent attention and collaboration to curb.
He noted that efforts should be made to stop young Nigerian women, especially in the higher institutions, from dangerous lifestyles, such as alcohol intake, smoking and having indiscriminate sex, to stem the infertility tide.
“Beyond physical and mental problems recreational drugs cause, they are known to affect fertility and if its use continues escalating as is being seen today, by young women, most of them will end up with fertility challenges.
“Drugs also promote unhealthy sexual behaviours, like unprotected sexual intercourse, risk of abortion and all the complications of aborting pregnancies, increase when a woman loses her self-control”, he stated.
Dr Okechukwu Kalu, consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist, who runs the Life Point Fertility Centre in Abuja and Aba, explained that he saw a need to run the “ministry of giving hope and life to child-desiring women in Aba.”
He noted that he began fertility management since 2004 and had grown in it, noting that his services had resulted in over 75 percent success in infertility treatment.
Kalu, however, stated that it was not everyone with fertility issue that could be pregnant, because of body constitutions, stressing that counselling was important in the treatment process.
He said that, although people believed IVF was expensive, he was going to run his services with consideration as a “ministry” and hope to have the cheapest IVF centre.
He stressed the need for collaboration with other doctors and health professionals, organisations, governments and individuals to ensure people get the required help to escape infertility and its stress.
Prof. Stephen Onwere, provost, Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, who chaired the occasion, explained that no IVF centre had existed in the facility, since Dr Ikechukwu Igboeli left Aba, because of threat to his life.
He thanked Kalu for the sacrifice and courage to establish an IVF centre in Aba, noting that doctors in Abia, would no longer need to refer infertility patients to Enugu, Port Harcourt, Lagos or Abuja for treatment.