By Sola Ogundipe
IT will no longer be business as usual for unregistered fertility treatment and Assisted Reproduction Techniques, ART, practitioners that are operating in Nigeria as professionals in the industry have taken steps in collaboration with government to curb the menace of quacks within the profession.
President of the Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health, AFRH, Dr. Faye Iketubosin, said a bill for regulatory framework for reproductive health in the country is already before the National Assembly.
“The bill is designed to regulate the practice. We are putting regulation in place with government and already there is a bill for regulatory framework for reproductive health at the National Assembly,” he told Features Health & Living in Lagos.
“The bill is designed to draw up the minimum acceptable standards or guidelines for practice. What it will mean is that if a clinic or practitioner is not registered with the AFRH, that clinic or practitioner would be regarded as illegal.”
Iketubosin said a list of clinics that have been inspected and accredited to practice ART would be published.
“We have a voluntary inspection arrangement of our Association members. The idea is to have members self-regulate. It has been on for two years and is intended to be continuous over three years. Inspection teams will be going around for compliance with these guidelines.
“To provide services in ART, our activities include working with government to have ethical and regulatory for regulation for the practice, working with the LASG and FG the National ethical and regulatory framework for practice of ART in Nigeria.”
Further, the President noted that ART was on the increase.
“The practice of ART has exploded in Nigeria as we have gone from a situation of two or three clinics of several years ago to 74 clinics across the country today with 24 of the clinics in Lagos. Currently there are over 250 registered members with ARFH. There is need for fertility research in reproductive health issues.”
Iketubosin said the AFRH which is the umbrella body for the practice and regulation of ART in the country is committed to creation of awareness about reproductive health services in Nigeria, Africa and globally through implementing programmes for improving Sexual and Reproductive Health, SRH, care and support.
The AFRH which is also planning its 2018 conference themed: “New Frontiers in ART” in September
According to Chairman of the Conference Local Organising Committee, LOC, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, “One of the pillars of ART is training of doc tors and we take it very seriously. Infertility is increasing from all available evidence and our main workshop will be coming up in September 2018.
According to Ajayi, the workshop will feature experts from all over the world and Nigeria will be preceded by an ultrasound workshop on February 16-17, 2018 in Lagos.