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A university professor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) in Ilorin, Kwara State, Professor Lukman Omotayo Omokanye, has highlighted that the increasing cases of infertility among couples in Nigeria could be mitigated with financial support from well-endowed individuals. This assistance would enhance their access to Advanced Fertility Care (AFC), such as In vitro Fertilization (IVF).

On Sunday, Professor Omokanye, also the Coordinator and Technical Partner of MEDCLEV Multi Specialists Hospital in Tanke, Ilorin, emphasised that orthodox solutions, particularly at an advanced level, have become the most dynamic approach to infertility problems worldwide.

He expressed concern about the impact of poverty on indigent infertile couples in Nigeria, hindering the widespread success of IVF. He urged financially well-off people to come to their rescue by providing necessary financial assistance.

Professor Omokanye spoke in Ilorin during the launch of the MEDCLEV Fertility Foundation, a non-governmental organisation conceived by the hospital’s management as a vital intervention for indigent couples facing infertility challenges.

Referring to recent statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), he mentioned that one out of seven couples worldwide would experience some form of infertility during their life cycles.

The clinician added, “Examining infertility statistics across major ethnic nationalities in Nigeria may surprise non-clinicians. For instance, among the Nupes and Gwaris, the infertility rate is 10.5 per cent; it is 10 per cent among the Tivs and 6.9 per cent among the Chaambas, all in the Central Zone of Nigeria.”

“The rate ranges from 23.5 to 14.3 per cent among the Hausas, Fulanis, and Kanuris in the Northern Zone. Among the Igbos and other ethnic groups within the Eastern Zone, including Cross River State, the percentages are 16 and 19.1, respectively. In Southwestern Nigeria, the infertility rate is reported to be 14 per cent. Overall, Nigeria’s infertility rate is estimated to be 20 to 30 per cent of total married couples.”

Professor Omokanye highlighted the elusive nature of AFC procedures for indigent infertile couples due to their high costs. He noted that government health facilities, burdened with bureaucratic systems, cannot alleviate their predicaments.

“This is the void that MEDCLEV aims to fill with a human touch as a non-profit body, making world-class fertility care accessible under existing fertility regulations and control. We seek collaborations with private individuals and corporate bodies to alleviate the significant financial challenges of providing ART services to indigent clients without consideration. Your assistance is crucial due to the increasing numbers of indigent couples seeking fertility care services.”

In its few years of existence, the hospital has performed over 50 procedures, including the delivery of sets of twins, triplets, and quadruplets.

Yesterday’s event, attended by prominent traditional rulers, religious leaders, and academics, including the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Wahab Olasupo Egbewole, also featured raffle draws, where many participants won consumables and electronics, including washing machines, plasma television sets, microwaves, and pressing irons, among others.

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