By Chioma Obinna
LAGOS—LAGOS State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, yesterday announced the delivery of 74 babies at its Institute of Fertility Medicine, IFM, through affordable Assisted Reproductive Technology, ART, popularly known as IVF.
The milestone, according to the hospital, was achieved under its Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with a private Fertility facility, The Bridge Clinic.
Briefing journalists, the Chairman of the Institute, Dr. Adetokunbo Adebanwo, explained that the IFM was designed to make the ART services available at affordable rate, specifically at a quarter of the original cost.
Adebanwo, who explained that such services cost between N1 million to N2 million in private facilities, said the IFM would provide same quality service at N500, 000 for now.
The chairman also disclosed that plans were on to further reduce the price to as low as N250, 000 to ensure that all indigent couples had opportunity to have their own babies.
He said: “The IFM aims to bring the use of ART at a highly affordable rate to indigent patients who battle infertility but unable to afford the high expense of procuring available ART service from a normal setting. The idea of the partnership is to reduce cost by 50 per cent and even further bring it down by 25 per cent.
“ART is the technology used to achieve pregnancy in procedures such as fertility medication, in vitro fertilization, IVF and surrogacy. It is reproductive technology used primarily for infertility treatments, and is also known as fertility treatment.”
According to Adebanwo, LASUTH had signed a memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with the Bridge Clinic which created IFM in May 2011 and started operation in August of the same year.
Adetokunbo said: “The idea was that the Bridge Clinic would partner with LASUTH’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecologist and in the process transfer knowledge and technology over five years to LASUTH. The technology is able to bypass a lot infertility hurdle to achieve conception. Yet, globally, only 35 per cent success rate could be achieved in the use of ART.
IFM has recorded between 38 to 40 per cent success rate so far. To achieve 25 per cent further reduction, IFM willd partner some pharmaceutical companies to get drugs at a very cheap rate, and this would enable the facility further reduce the cost of a circle of ART by N150,000.
“So far, originally the IFM aims to achieve autonomy and break away from the Bridge Clinic after five years of the initiative, but now the MOU has lasted six years.|”
Earlier, the Chairman, Advisory Committee, CMAC, LASUTH, Dr Adedokun Ayoade lamented that many homes have been broken and so many women shattered emotionally due to infertility issues.
He said “The milestones of 74 babies through ART for mothers who are hitherto condemned worth celebrating.”
The deliveries happened from August 2011 when the IFM came into operation and to date.