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Nigeria needs improved fertility awareness

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By Abiodun Okunloye

When not treated, it can lead to experiences of isolation and silent suffering.

According to Kunle Ajayi, Medical Director and Chief Executive of Clearview Fertility in Lagos, Nigeria, infertility affects a sizable portion of the population, and many couples in the country deal with it. Despite this, many people are uncomfortable talking about it, which can lead to experiences of isolation, stigma, and silent suffering. On July 19, Clearview Fertility in Lagos celebrated its sixth year of operation in the Nigerian healthcare industry, and Ajayi was there to share his thoughts. The expert on the issues says it’s crucial to educate people in Nigeria about the problem.

Infertility can have significant emotional, physical, and social consequences for both individuals. He argued that treating this problem will boost the quality of life for individuals struggling with it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one in six people worldwide have infertility, highlighting the critical need to expand access to low-cost, high-quality care. However, only 20% to 30% of its cases may be attributed to male infertility, 20% to 35% to female infertility, and 25% to 40% to a combination of the two.

Affected people are always ashamed to talk about it.

Ajayi added that there are a lot of people, both men and women, who are infertile but are ashamed to talk about it. For both partners, infertility is a known issue. So, both genders contribute equally, and many people are suffering in silence because they don’t feel they have someone to turn to or because they fear being labelled as infertile or barren if they do. According to him, few people come forward to admit they have the problems, despite the fact that it is a major problem.

Some married couples come in years after they should have taken their tests but haven’t. Without a correct diagnosis, most of them go ahead and get scanned and treated for infections. He contends that in order to provide effective reproductive treatment, some fundamental diagnosis must first be made. More education is necessary because infertility is not shameful and should not be stigmatised. There are different methods to help couples trying to conceive, so even if one is infertile, that doesn’t imply they won’t be fertile tomorrow.

There is a higher rate of secondary fertility in Nigeria.

In his speech as the guest speaker, Fatai Tijani, a consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecology and fertility specialist at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), stated that its treatments are not cost-effective and that the majority of patients pay out of pocket. According to Tijani, there is a higher rate of secondary fertility in Nigeria, wherein some partners have already highlighted health difficulties such as ovarian sepsis, sexually transmitted diseases, fibroids, and a variety of other conditions.

He added that there is a mutual contribution of 30–40 percent from both males and females to the problem. One of the potential approaches to assisting a couple in conceiving a child is known as in vitro fertilization (IVF). In spite of this, investigations are an extremely important part of the treatment procedure, and this applies to both the male and the female patient. This is because they enable the specialist to direct a suitable solution towards the treatment recommendation.

They provide innovative medical solutions that are prompt and inexpensive.

Olajide Wilson, a consultant embryologist at the hospital, spoke on the facility’s treatment efforts, noting that the clinic has, since its inception, provided innovative medical solutions in a timely and inexpensive manner. Also, solutions such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), IVF treatment, IUI, and a robust ante-natal programme are readily available due to technological advancements in these areas. Wilson noted that while they have the necessary technological know-how, they import 85% of the consumables in fertility treatment, which depends on the cost of these treatments.

Related Link

Clearview Hospital: Website

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