Giwa-Osagie, President of the Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health (AFRH), made this known while briefing newsmen on the association’s 4th annual international conference in Lagos.
He said that IVF had improved steadily in the last five-year with between 15 per cent to 40 per cent success rates in the 39 certified IVF clinics in Nigeria.
According to him, IVF is increasingly becoming a method of bringing joy and laughter to fertility challenged Nigerian couples.
“A childless marriage in Africa faces major challenges regarding stability and continuation. Infertility leads to marital breakdown, mental illness, domestic violence, polygamy, adultery and suicide among other consequences.
“Consequently, infertility and its management have assumed an important place in the African context. In Nigeria, 15 per cent of the population is affected by fertility problems.
“In the last five years, IVF brought joy and has given every couple in Nigeria the chance of child bearing,“ he
Giwa-Osagie said that fibroid and infection, which cause tubal damage, were the major causes of infertility in women while low sperm count was also a major cause of infertility in men.
He, however, advised couples to seek IVF treatment at certified clinics to avoid exploitation and health complications.
Dr Feyi Iketubosin , Chairman, organising committee of the conference, in a remark, said that the conference would be a forum to discuss the challenges facing IVF practice in the country.
Iketubosun said that poor power supply, high cost of procuring and maintaining equipment used for the treatment as well as high import duties contributed to the high cost of IVF treatment in Nigeria.
“The cost of IVF procedure in Nigeria today ranges from N500,000 to N1.5 million. But with an enabling environment, the cost can be reduce to make the procedure accessible to all Nigerians,” he said.
Iketubosun called on the government to regulate the practice of IVF in the country.
According to him, there is a dangerous and uncontrolled growth of poor quality IVF clinics all over the country which needs to be checked to protect patients from exploitation and harm. “There is an urgent need to set up guidelines and regulations for the training and practice of IVF in Nigeria.
“We are ready to work with the government to ensure that this regulation and guidelines are put in place,” he said.
In her remark, Mrs Ada Udechukwu, a representative of Access bank and sponsor of the conference, said that the bank provided financial support for couples who wished to access IVF procedure.
“We realised that finance was a major barrier in accessing IVF procedure in Nigeria, as most couples sold landed property and jewelries to pay for IVF treatment.
“We are collaborating with AFRH to support families who are faced with fertility challenges,” she said.
NAN reports that the 4th Annual International Conference of AFRH will hold from September 24 to September 26 in Lagos.