Varsity teacher wants legislation to accept infertility in couples as a disease
A Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology from University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Augustine Oruhe, has urged the Federal Government to treat the issue of infertility among some couples as a disease like every other diseases considered chronic.
Oruhe, a fertility expert while delivering a lecture at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin, said about 20 per cent of couples in the country are faced with the problems associated with infertility.
Speaking on the topic ‘In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), as Treatment for Human Reproduction Problems Beyond Infertility’, the 69 years old don, said the National Assembly should legislate in favour of his proposition towards alleviating the trauma of couples facing such challenges.
For him, men should stop putting the blames on their wives as recent scientific research has shown that infertility as a health challenge could affect both men and women equally.
Defining infertility at the lecture presided over by the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the UITH, Professor Abdulwaheed Olatinwo, Oruhe said it is the inability to achieve pregnancy within one year duration of regular (evenly spaced 48 hours interval) ejaculatory vagina sexual inter course without contraception between a man and a woman in the reproductive age group.
He advised couples with challenges of infertility to ensure that they mate at least three times a week and stop relying on ovulation counting of 14 days after menstrual circle of a woman as recent medical statistics have proved that ovulation could no longer be relied upon for conception.
He noted, “the Federal Government should legislate to recognise infertility as a disease like Diabetes, High Blood Pressure or even malaria. It has all the characteristics of what could be called a disease. It has a cause and it is treatable. Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world that has not seen infertility as a disease through legislation. It is high time relevant bodies in the country will spear head this agitation.”
Considering the rather high cost of IVF for less privileged Nigerians in need of it, Oruhe said the Federal Government should establish dedicated infertility clinics in all its hospitals across the country to reduce the seeming monopoly of the privately owned clinics on it.
The Don added that relevant experts should continuously stimulate more research works on the IVF just as he believed that the nation with its over bloated human population would require about 6,000 IVF across the nation.
Putting age 35 and above in women as risky for child bearing, he said apart from the inherent danger, conception at the age bracket is usually cumbersome just as he recommended hygienic environment for deliveries to avoid infections.
He therefore urged employers of labour to allow women friendly policies that would favour them having their children at early stages just as he sharply criticised the expulsion of some female students from either school or para military institutions due to pregnancies.
Besides, Oruhe canvassed special recognition for midwives noting that unlike other health providers apart from doctors, they remain the only health workers who have the rights to admit patients and conduct procedures on them.
Speaking at the event, Olatinwo urged the Federal Government to include the issue of infertility in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to accommodate the less privileged Nigerians.
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