IN order to assist couples in need of fertility treatment, St.Ives along with its foundation and benefactors, has announced plans to slash the price of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) to N400, 000 for couples in need of it in the month of October 2012.
St.Ives Medical Director, Dr. Tunde Okewale, who made the announcement in Lagos recently, said the high price of IVF in the country was preventing couples who could have
benefited from it from accessing it.
He explained that IVF was becoming expensive in Nigeria because of the high cost of importing its consumables, equipment and staff training.
The fertility expert explained that couples who are interested in the promo needed to enroll with N400, 000 at the hospital in Ikeja, Lagos, between September 14 and 29 to benefit.
He called on government to put in place a programme that would help subsidise the cost of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) for couples in need of fertility treatment as obtained in most developed countries of the world.
Okewale noted that Nigeria was ripe for IVF practice regulation, but advised that caution should
be exercised not to import the British mode of regulation into the country so as not to stifle the practice as is being done over there.
He added that regulatory codes should take cognizance of Nigeria’s environment, cultural and religious practices especially as it concerns childbearing.
The promo is the third in the series of IVF promos offered by the hospital for the past two years. Okewale said the hospital had recorded 30 per cent success rate in each promo, a 15 per cent higher success rate than what obtains in a one-month trial of natural conception.
He added that past IVF
promos had always drawn couples across the federation, especially from the northern part of the country, to obtain infertility treatment at a cheaper rate. A single circle of IVF goes from N800, 000 upwards in Nigeria.
Okewale said, “there are quite a number of couples that need IVF. Unfortunately, the cost of IVF in our
environment is quite high. Unlike many other countries of the world where it is subsidised, it is not subsidised in Nigeria. But it is quite painful to see
couples that could get pregnant through ART, cannot access it because of funds.
IVF is an expensive procedure. In most IVF clinics, it costs between N800 to over a N1 million to do one circle. But we know that is quite expensive for majority of our people.
So the practice over the years is that only people who can afford it that have access to it.
Meanwhile, we find people who may have benefited from it not able to afford it. So over the last two years, an arm of our hospital, St.Ives Foundation, together with some of our benefactors, decided that at a specific time of the year we would do price slash