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Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation keeps hope alive for couples battling infertility

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Last year was a memorable for many people, but not for the best of reasons. The year came with an increase in extreme weather conditions and disasters, terrorist attacks across the globe and crunching economic turmoil especially for countries with economies completely dependent on oil. Nigeria was not in any way immune from this economic trouble. The Federal Government officially declared that the country had entered a recession sometime around August 2016. This was preceded and followed by salaries being owed by government agencies while myriads of private organisations laid people off to remain in business. For the common man, the recession came with inflation, which was up to 18 per cent on essential commodities at some point. This would definitely have bitten into the savings of most couples, making it a bit more challenging to run a home.

For aspiring parents who were having trouble conceiving and were hoping to go for some form of fertility treatment, all of this was not good news. With costs in millions of naira, being able to afford fertility treatments would have fast become a distant dream, making their hopes of one day holding their baby in their arms, taking her to school or dropping him off with grandparents become a fading dream. For example, the cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Lagos starts from N1 million. This is exclusive of drugs and tests, and depends on how complicated the case is or if surgery is needed. Sometimes, in order to have a successful pregnancy, couples undergoing IVF often need multiple cycles, racking up the costs.

Worldwide, infertility is generally quoted as occurring in 8-12% of couples. In Nigeria, the prevalence of infertility is very high ranging from 20- 46%. With the recent economic recession in Nigeria, IVF and other certified treatment methods have become much more expensive for couples to afford.

The Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation appeared as a ray of hope for such couples just in the nick of time. In 2016, the foundation partnered with several medical institutions to provide fertility grants to couples dealing with the financial strain of fertility treatments. In addition to the financial help, the foundation also offered emotional support and counselling for the applicants. The worth of this grant in the current economic climate cannot be quantified, especially because paying for these treatments out-of-pocket, with the requisite drugs and tests needed could be astronomically expensive.

After reviewing the scores of applications that came within the year, a total of 28 couples were selected and given fertility grants. They are all currently in different stages of treatment in several of our partner institutions enjoying not just treatment, but the care that they require and deserve in such trying times.

The Foundation has clinical partners that have been carefully selected and are highly skilled professionals that are among the best in the country. They deliver world-class services that can almost rival the ones offered overseas and so, recipients of the grants are in safe hands.

It is the Foundation’s commitment to the joy and fulfilment of the parenthood dreams of couples that sets it apart. The driving force is not the number of the people who they are able to help or the statistics of pregnancy return rate, but the smiles, joy and blessing that pregnancy, childbirth and being responsible for another life brings to the couple. As long as they can help one couple achieve this dream, they consider what they do worth doing and will continue to do so with all vigour and excitement.

They are looking to have this joy reach many more people in 2017 and would be happy to have people partner with them in doing so. Simply log on to www.ibidunniighodalofoundation.org to find out ways you can help someone share in this joy.

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