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IVF: Ajayi makes case for regulation in Nigeria

By SolaOGUNDIPE
THE need for constant and in-depth regulation of InVitro Fertilisation (IVF) in Nigeria  has been identified just as   reiterated that gynaecologists and other related medical professionals have been urged to take responsibility to assure the successful application of IVF technology for the treatment of their patients.

Clinical and Managing Director, The Bridge Clinic, Lagos, Dr. Richardson Ajayi, who made the observation in Abuja last week, argued for a need for all stakeholders to look at the state of regulation around the world and  focus on ethical issues that might have to be considered in Nigeria before making proposals for deliberation.

Presenting a paper entitled, “IVF in Nigeria – The Way Forward” at the Society of Gynecologists of Nigeria (SOGON) conference, Ajayi noted: “Some countries such as the United Kingdom have a very comprehensive framework for the regulation of the treatment and others such as the United States of America have a limited framework for regulation.  We need to engage in a discussion that will guide the direction that we develop in Nigeria.”

Emphasizing the importance of IVF in the country, the Lagos-based fertility expert stressed that the cultural requirements for children to validate a marriage in Nigeria coupled with the high prevalence of infertility has lead to the establishment of In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intra-Cystoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)  as a treatment of infertility in Nigeria. “IVF has over the years evolved to become the cornerstone of infertility treatment and there are currently over four million children born as a result of IVF all over the world.

“The expansion of this technology has been matched by a vociferous debate about the need to regulate a treatment modality that was considered to deal with the very essence of humanity – the handling of human gametes and the creation of human embryos.”

Ajayi, an expert in the field of assisted conception and fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists set up The Bridge Clinic in fulfillment of his vision to have the first assisted conception unit in Nigeria. The Bridge Clinic is currently the only ISO fertility clinic in Nigeria with an ethics committee.


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