By Sola Ogundipe

The Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria, ESGN, has announced the first ever National Dysmenorrhea  Survey for secondary school girls in Nigeria.

Disclosing this to Good Health Weekly in an interview, Spokesperson and Trustee for the ESGN, Dr Abayomi Ajayi, said the dysmenorrhea (painful periods) survey was important to help diagnose and treat endometriosis – a very  painful condition that affects a woman’s reproductive system.

Ajayi, who is the Medical Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, Abuja and Asaba, noted that preliminary results of the survey were useful.

“It is meant to be nationwide, but we are starting in Lagos and there are about 30,000 secondary school students targeted. We have adopted a quantitative approach and  developed a plan for carrying out the survey on a quarterly basis (very three months)

On the relevance of the survey, Ajayi said  scientific evidence existed that many young women and girls that often develop  endometriosis, first experience painful periods.

“The fastest way to check if a woman or young girl has endometriosis is from when her period starts and all the drama around the period,  so if we know the prevalence and we are able to measure and check across the country and to have better data and statistics to work with, then we will be in position to diagnose and manage it better.”

Endometriosis is a medical condition where the kind of tissue that usually lines the womb also grows in other parts of the body. These “growths” are called endometrial implants, and may be small or larger in size. Like the lining of the womb, they build up and are shed every month.

In a related event, the first live birth from the Fertility Treatment Support Foundation, FTSF, initiative has been announced.

The FTSF is a free  fertility treatment programme for Nigerian couples challenged by infertility but unable to pay for the treatment.  The initiative has  potential of allowing more couples enjoy the joy of parenthood.

Disclosing this to Good Health Weekly, Communication Director, FTSF, Mr Onuora Molokwu,   said the baby girl was born to one of the couples that benefited from the 2017 edition of the initiative tagged AliBaba January 1st Concert and Fertility Treatment Support Foundation 2017.

He said five couples were selected by the Foundation to receive free treatment out of which two successfully conceived.

“We  have had the first live birth from the FTSF. The parents are Mr and Mrs Alfred Soyemi and we are expecting another birth from another beneficiary couple to be unveiled soon also from the 2017 edition.

“When we ask people to put in entries it is real that they are getting opportunity to benefit from world class fertility treatments

Further, Molokwu stated: We have also announced the 2018 edition of the FTSF and already, 10 couples have been shortlisted for screening out of which 2 or 3 would be selected for treatment.

“There would be a 2nd phase depending on how much money we are able to raise to drive the initiative. We want to do a lot more, but need more partners and support

Molokwu said FTSF is encouraged by the results from previous interventions  of free fertility treatment since inception in 2008 which has resulted in over 200 couples receiving free fertility screening and treatment.

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