Research conducted in Belgium on infertility early this year established that people living with infertility issues suffered various degrees of social stigmatisation, psychological problems and financial constraints.
During the working session of a day’s workshop on fertility treatment in Accra last Sunday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association of Childless Couples of Ghana (ACCOG) and a Fertility Counselor, Nana Yaw Osei, stated that it was possible for people living with infertility to have children of their own.
He said some scientists from the Netherlands, USA, and Belgium had found a way to combine and develop new methods of the Invitro Fertilisation (IVF) which would relatively bring down the cost to about 30 per cent of the existing cost slated for the treatment.
According to Nana Osei, “responses of the research carried out are to be presented to the participants to see the way forward as to whether or not the treatment is prudent enough to be carried out on them.”
Participants also pointed to financial constraints as the key challenge they faced in fertility treatment.
Mr Osei explained that fertility treatment was arguably very expensive in Ghana and that other fertility centres charged at least not more than GH¢20,000.
He said the association was going to subsidise the cost of fertility treatment to not more than GH¢6,000, with medication inclusive.
That, he said, was going to be possible as a result of the association’s partnership with tWE’, which was established by a German scientist in 2015.
Mr Osei said they were hoping to mobilise stakeholders to help make fertility treatment very cheap or absolutely free.
“ACCOG is trying to mobilise funds in Ghana so that in the near future people can come to the centre with little or no funds at all to receive treatment,” he said.
He stated that the association hoped to make IVF as cheap as possible to give everybody the chance to try the method with the possibility of having children since IVF had been seen as the ultimate solution to cases of infertility.
He further said the association hopes to open affordable IVF centres across the country.
Currently, the first one has been opened in Accra in collaboration with the All Faith Medical Centre and one will be opened in Kumasi soon.
The President of the Walking Egg Centre, Prof. Dr Willem Ombelet, took participants through the affordable IVF method they had developed.
He stated that more than 100 children had been born through the method so far.
Prof. Ombelet said he had seen a trend as far as fertility treatment was concerned in Ghana and his home country, Belgium.
“Since the success rate of fertility treatment is 33 per cent, women who report for fertility treatment do that too late, making it less successful,” he explained.
He added that women mostly reported after the age of 39, thus making the treatment a bit unsuccessful.
He, therefore, advised people who identified fertility issues to seek early treatment in order to make the treatment a success.