By FOLUSO AJIBULU
Mrs. Oluranti Tolani Ajayi, the Clinic Manager, Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, has become a reference personality for women who value excellence. She rose from a humble background to become an epitome of efficiency who cannot be ignored by people who value professionalism.
A fertility expert, Ajayi attended the School of Nursing, Abeokuta between 1980 and 1983 and later proceeded to the School of Midwifery, Abeokuta between 1986 and 1987. To further equip herself professionally, she had training in in-vitro fertilisation, IVF, in South Africa and also studied Mind and Body Medicine at the prestigious Harvard University, US.
Since she joined Nordica Fertility Centre four years ago, her professionalism has been in full swing making Nordica one of Nigeria’s leading centres for world-class assisted reproductive services.
A woman with charismatic beat, she described infertility as the inability of a couple to achieve conception after they have been exposed to regular, unprotected sex for at least one year.
Ajayi further explained that there are many factors responsible for infertility which could be from either of the partners or both. “The factors in women sometimes could be blocked fallopian tube as a result of infection. Another factor is hormone imbalance in women which poses a challenge to achieving conception.
In men, most times, it is either the sperm is low or there is none but the most common is low sperm count which should be at a minimum of 20 million/ML for the sperm to achieve conception.
The other situation is when there is no sperm cell which makes it impossible for the eggs to be fertilized. Sometimes, there is what we call unexplained infertility, this is when both partners have had tests which have proved them healthy but there is still no conception. After sometime, we would have to introduce IVF to them”, she explained.
Commenting on the discrimination that comes with infertility especially against womenfolk, the fertility expert explained that the situation is changing for the better because people are getting more educated on the factors responsible for infertility. “I think it is getting better because men are coming out to be checked and treated which before now was not the case as it is a common belief in this part of the world that it is usually a female problem”, she said.
Committed to excellence in patient-care, backed by research leading to the development of simplified treatment plans, since its inception in 2003, Nordica Fertility Centre has evolved and grown substantially with a vision to be the preferred assisted conception provider in line with its core values of team playing, responsiveness, integrity and confidentiality.
With a responsive “Care Team” deploying patient-care approach, Nordica offers a comprehensive range of assisted conception therapy which includes comprehensive gynecological assessment, endoscopic surgery, timed intercourse, ovulation induction and cycle monitoring, in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI), surgical sperm retrieval/ TESA; PESA, sperm donation, embryo donation and egg donation including egg sharing.
Ajayi’s vast experience and maturity in handling infertility issues has built clients’ trust and confidence in her. According to her, “there are times I would have to step in to counsel couples based on experience and the respect is always there when I talk to them. There are some people who only need to be counseled on things they need to do while some need drugs or procedures to correct some anomalies and they get pregnant afterwards because it is not everyone that needs IVF, there are other things that can be done to achieve conception.
“As part of our social responsibility, we organize open forum; which is a public enlightenment programme that we organize quarterly; corporate presentation which comes in form of seminars organized in offices as part of awareness creation on how to combat the challenges of infertility; and medical/clinical presentation which serves as an avenue of disseminating new development in reproductive technology”, she said.
On the issues of underage marriages and low girl-child education in some parts of the country, the fertility expert lamented the dangers it portends for the girl-child. She said: “The effect on the girl is a lot. There are quite a number of challenges that come with marriage, so a lady must be mature in age in order to tackle the challenges and to be able to play the role that is expected of her as a wife and a mother. Underage marriages expose the girl to complications that come with pregnancy.
Most common is the fistula which creates a hole between the vagina and the bladder which makes her leak urine all the time. Underage marriage should not be encouraged because a girl should be mature in age and well educated to be able to handle marital issues”.
On the challenges that come with being efficient at work and managing the home front, the challenge_driven medical practitioner described it as a tough one. “It takes a lot but I am coping and my husband is very understanding. It is not an easy task for every woman”, she stressed.
She gave kudos to President Jonathan for fulfilling his promise of 35 per cent women participation in government which before now was male dominated as evident in previous administrations. “If the trend continues like this, we will get there one day. In this modern age, I don’t think anyone should be talking of keeping women in the background because women are now occupying top positions. It is a pride to womanhood and it is an opportunity for women to prove their mettle in nation building”, she said.
She however urged the ministries of women affair at both federal and state levels to look more critically into the issues of women empowerment.
On the saying, “train a girl, train a nation”, she described it as the basic truth. If you train a girl, she is going to use that same training to develop her own children and it goes on and on like that. Presently, we have quite a number of women who are performing excellently than their male counterparts. The development of every nation depends on proper training of the girl-child, otherwise the nation remains static”, Ajayi emphasized.
Commenting on the future, the Clinic Manager said: “Nordica is growing and it will continue to grow. I will also continue to grow with it to bring more awareness to the nation on the causes of infertility and what can be done to prevent such things”.