By Sola Ogundipe
A PROFESSOR of Medical Microbiology, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, has advocated for sustained research into the causes and cures of infertility problems in Nigeria.
Ogunsola, who is the Provost, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, CMUL, said it is necessary to keep researching about ways of curbing infertility in order to make Invitro Fertilisation, IVF, and other certified treatment approaches more affordable to couples faced by the challenge.
“We have come a long way in infertility treatment, and we need to continue to demystify (it) infertility, while also encouraging couples that have benefited from the treatment procedures to come out and share their stories,” she noted over the weekend, during the official launch of the Fertility Awareness Advocate Initiative, FAAI, a non-profit support group, aiming to help couples experiencing infertility challenges.
Recalling a time at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, when there was no hope for infertility treatment, Ogunsola said people that went to the clinic at that time had no solution to their problems.
“It was such a miserable time and I was really moved. We felt that even if we could do the O(Obstetrics), without the G (Gynaecology), it would not be enough. At the infertility clinic (LUTH), the same people were there in year after year; there was no solution.
“It is great that we are having solutions now and that those that have availed themselves of the solutions are happy to talk about it so that others can benefit. As you create awareness and counsel, I would also want you to think about when this group is mature so that it will collaborate with the universities to expand frontiers of knowlege through research as alternate methods of finding out ways that we can reduce the burden and cost of treatment.”
In a remark, the President, FAAI, Mr. Omoz Evborokhai, said the group’s aims and objectives are to promote awareness of fertility treatment options while offering counseling support to those undergoing fertility treatment, and assisting in breaking the myths and misconceptions surrounding infertility in Nigeria.
“FAAI promotes enforcement of regulatory standards in the treatment of infertility in Nigeria and collaboration with organisations with similar objectives.
“Over time, we have discovered that there is ignorance in the populace as to IVF treatment options and as a result a number of couples grope in darkness and go through hell in seeking help.
“We at FAAI believe that people should get to know that there is hope at the end of the tunnel and that they can have a babies through legitimate processes.
“By offering counseling support we let couples on the fertility journey know that others have gone through this same route and achieved successes. We also share our experiences which goes a long way to inspire them.”
In the views of Medical Director/CEO, Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, Abuja & Asaba, Dr Abayomi Ajayi: “Having children is the ultimate goal for most married couples. At Nordica, we discovered that most of our patients crave support and need to be enlightened about Assisted Reproductive Treatment, ART.
“They also need to hear the success stories of others in order to help them overcome their fears and also unmask any negative perception they might have towards seeking fertility treatments. The search for a solution gave birth to this support group called FAAI, that has the e goal to reach out to the public and enlighten them about ART.