By Gabriel Olawale
The Lagos State Government has unveiled a guideline that will ensure that fertility specialists in the state conform with international best practices in their operation.
Speaking at the launch of a book titled: ART Practice In Lagos State – Regulations and Guidelines, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris said that the step is necessary in response to the growing need of Assisted Reproductive Technology, ART, interventions and emergence of other Advanced Medical Procedures and Research.
“Lagos State Government had initiated efforts in 2013 through a committee to develop recommendations on Policy Regulations and Ethics, guided by global best practices. There are no national guidelines even as of this moment.
“By 2017, the number of documented ART practice outfit in Lagos had risen by leaps and bounds, from the very few in 1999 to over 20 clinics by December 2018, with many undocumented and not guided by clear cut and specific extant Laws and Regulations.
“The huge public outcry against unwholesome practices perpetrated majorly by uncertified and unaccredited specialists, was not a surprise. Reports of unethical practices of varied nature including paid advertisements and promos became rife; tales of extortion, unorthodox practices and even quackery reached totally unacceptable levels.”
Idris said it took combined effort from its regulatory Agency, HEFAMAA, working with The Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health Executive members, and other diverse stakeholders to respond to the challenges.
He pointed out that the new policy document will bring order, decorum and professionalism to the management option for infertile couples.
“The document specifically addresses issues like the regulating body for ART, registration, accreditation and renewal of clinics; minimum standards for practices especially with regards to various ethical issues ingrained in ART; monitoring, enforcement and penalties.
In attendance at the launch were President of Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health, AFRH, Dr Ibrahim Wada; Immediate past president of AFRH, Dr Faye Iketubosin; Executive Secretary, HEFAMMA, Dr. Abiola Idowu; Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Titilayo Goncalves among others.