Medical expert blames low patronage of IVF on costs, security, other challenges

A renowned gynaecologist and Chief Medical Director of the Vine Branch Fertility Centre, Dr Bukunmi Kolade has attributed the low patronage of assisted conception services otherwise known as In Vitro Fertilization, (IVF) on the security challenges, cultural influence and the exchange rate.

Disclosing this at the 7th year anniversary of the Vine Branch Fertility Centre in Ibadan at the weekend, Dr Kolade said the security situation in the Country is hindering people from outside from accessing the facility in the Country

He disclosed that in the last seven years of operation, the  Vice Branch Fertility Centre has a record of assisted conception birth of 500 babies, an average of 48 per cent of successful operations.

Kolade, who attributed the increasing rate of infertility among couples to infections, stressed the need for affected couples to prioritize their needs, noting the disposition of our culture to the issue of childbearing.

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He added that whoever could afford to purchase a car of between N2m and above should be able to afford the cost of assisted conception service depending on what economists refer to as scale of preference.

According to him, the challenges are the challenges everywhere and this is basically because all the things that we use, the equipment, the drugs are imported and the present exchange rate is not helping the situation. Despite all these, we are also ensuring that the cost is affordable, noting the per capita income of an average Nigerian.

However, while the dollar rate is experiencing a geometric increase, in the past seven years we have not changed the cost of our services more than two times.

Unfortunately, it is somehow expensive, and a lot of people can not afford it. Also, a major challenge that we have is power, as we run most of our equipment on a generator which is a little bit expensive.

The Chief Medical Director added that the issue of manpower is another major challenge, stating that after spending millions of naira to train personnel, they will prefer seeking greener pastures outside the Country.

Speaking in the same vein, a guest lecturer, Dr Gbolahanmi Obajinmi stressed the need for the government-owned hospitals nationwide to make the services available.

He added that this would assist in the reduction of the costs, as well as make it accessible to couples in dire need of the services.