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Fertility treatment in developing countries; a cycle of IVF for less than $200
Date:7/7/2008

Barcelona, Spain: After 30 years of IVF, the rewards of treatment are still largely confined to industrialised countries and those who can afford it. Now, a Special Task Force of ESHRE has set about the immeasurable task of making fertility treatment more accessible to developing countries through a programme of pilot projects, professional awareness and involvement of government and non-governmental agencies.

The Task Force faces a huge challenge. According to a report just published in a special monograph of the journal Human Reproduction [1] even the most basic questions about infertility in developing countries cannot yet be answered: how should infertility be defined; how often does it occur; what is the burden-of-disease; what can be spent on health care; how cost-effective should IVF be in order to compete with other interventions . . . and so on.

However, if the task is great, the need is even greater. According to Professor Oluwole Akande from University College Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria - who spoke at a press conference on Monday 7th July at 12.00 - infertility in developing countries raises problems beyond those known to developed nations. "In poor resource areas," he said, "the need for infertility treatment in general, and IVF in particular, is great. The inability to have children can create enormous problems, particularly for the woman. She might be disinherited, ostracised, accused of witchcraft, abused by local healers, separated from her spouse, or abandoned to a second-class life in a polygamous marriage."

The UN Population Division now estimates that 186 million women of reproductive age in developing countries (excluding China) are infertile, with more than 30% in many African countries unable to have children because of secondary infertility [2]. Six countries in the world have primary infertility rates over 4% - all of them in sub-Saharan Africa, the highest in Cameroon (7.3%) and Central African Republ
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Contact: Sarah De Potter
sarah.depotter@eshre.com
34-932-308-810
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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