Saturday, November 7, 2015

Physicians tasked on new IVF techniques

Dr. Ajayi
Fertility expert, and managing director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi has advised physicians in the country to embrace new  In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) techniques in order to improve success rates, and meet up with international best practices.
He gave the advice during the recent round table organized by the centre for physicians with the theme “Personalized IVF: Techniques to improve success rate.”
He said the personalised idea involves the need to look at each couples’ need, and “what needs to be done for them that is peculiar to them.”
Ajayi said physicians should be able answer their patients questions on why IVF fails.
 “They should be able to answer questions on necessary tests that might be even outside the scope of what they do normally in IVF. For example, if anybody is not looking at the uterus in Nigeria, he or she is wasting time on IVF. Because we know that a lot of Nigerian women have problems with their uterus.
It is either they have done surgery before, like surgery for fibroids, or caesarian section, which has left a scare, and doing IVF  on such a  woman is like a putting a baby on a foam that is not comfortable,  the baby can’t sleep well,” he explained.
While stating that IVF has improved in many ways in the country, ranging from drugs to equipment, media used, to ways of selecting sperms and embryos, he said  they are now focusing on the part played by the endometrium in IVF.

He said the round table was aimed at exchanging ideas, increasing the knowledge of doctors, and brainstorming on what is happening all over the world, in order to do it in Nigeria.
According to him, in the last 13 years, Nordica Fertility Centre has produced about 1,100 IVF children.

Source: the Guardian


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Health education graduate performs surgery in Kwara clinic

The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has raided a hospital in Ilorin, Kwara State, identified as Springway Hospital.

Many documents and a medical certificate believed to have been stolen from their owners were found during the raid on Saturday.

The Head of Inspectorate, MDCN, Dr. Okwuokenye Henry, who was in Ilorin on the instruction of the council’s registrar, Dr. Abdulmumini Ibrahim, said the council got a report that a doctorate degree holder in Human Kinetics and Health Education, Dr. Olaitan Lanre, established and operated the facility in Oko Erin area of the state.

He added that Lanre had allegedly been working as a doctor, carrying out surgery and fertility operations on patients in the clinic which operates 24-hour services.

 According to him, Lanre also claimed to be a lecturer at the University of Ilorin.

The head of the MDCN inspectorate stated that the council had already informed UNILORIN about the illegal activities of the fake doctor who claimed to be a lecturer at the varsity.

Henry ordered the closure of the facility pending the resolution of the matter. He also urged the police to arrest Lanre.

He added that the raid was to prevent the fake doctor from endangering the lives of unsuspecting patients.

He stated that the two doctors indicted by the recovered documents at the hospital had been summoned to appear before the MDCN.

Henry said, “We received a petition in my office in Abuja that somebody who had a Ph.D in Human Kinetics and also a lecturer with University of Ilorin named Dr. Olaitan Lanre opened a hospital in Oko Erin in Kwara State and has been working as a doctor carrying out surgery on people and fertility operations.

“During the raid, we discovered that the letter for the registration of the hospital was written by the fake doctor who used the name of one Dr. Jimoh A.A. as the overseer of the hospital and another Dr. Adeyemi as the medical director in charge of the hospital.

“During investigations, both doctors denied knowing Lanre who opened the hospital. Dr. Adeyemi, who is said to be the medical director of the hospital and whose certificate was also used to register the hospital, does not work there. Lanre’s operations at the hospital are fraudulent.

“When we got to the place with policemen, we met the place under lock and key which shows that he had been informed of our coming but some employees of the hospital were hovering around the place. Two were arrested, and policemen are already interrogating them.”

The Director, Medical Services and Training, Kwara State Ministry of Health, Dr. Subair Erubu, said the fake doctor used the name of some doctors to obtain his licence to register the hospital.

“The hospital didn’t register as a hospital but as a clinic and maternity home to carry out minor treatments on people. But we are surprised that the clinic has gone beyond what is expected of it by carrying out surgery for cases that do not even require such,” Erubu said.


By Success Nwogu,The Punch

****Dr. Olaitan has also run Kingsway IVF clinic in the past.




Friday, October 9, 2015

LUTH Reopens IVF Clinic

From left: Former Chief Medical Director (CMD) LUTH, Prof Akin Osibogun, Prof Ashiru, Prof Bode, Prof Giwa-Osagie and Provost, College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL) Prof Folashade Ogunsola at the event.
The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, has revived its Assisted Reproductive Clinic. It folded up in the 90s due to lack of funding. Now known as LUTH Assisted Fertility Clinic (AFC), the duo of Professors Osato Giwa-Osagie and Oladapo Ashiru, pioneered the clinic that produced the first test tube baby in Nigeria in March 1986. They both were at  the event, glowing with pride.

Going down memory lane, Prof Giwa-Osagie said the clinic through its IVF programme treated 20 patients between 1984 and 1994, “but we could not sustain it because of lack of institutional and government support.

Thereafter, the IVF services in Nigeria were largely made available by the private hospital. LUTH IVF clinic, according to him, “was the first in West, East and Central Africa.  Only Egypt and South Africa were the two African countries that had it before Nigeria in IVF history.”

Prof Giwa-Osagie said the full commencement of IVF services at LUTH had to wait for the ideal environment to be provided by the management. The perfect environment include sterile atmosphere for the laboratory and theatre; tiling of the laboratory and theatre; design of fee structure; acquisition of modern equipment; dedicated workforce and recruitment of patients.

The hospital, he said, is setting a goal of producing not less than 200 babies through IVF per annum.  “I am proud that this is coming to be as there is no short cut in life. Good legacies are built through perseverance, consistency and determination. The reopening of this clinic put history in the right perspective.

“This marks a return of IVF where it started in West Africa. We are set to charge lesser price than what obtains in the private sector. There are now about 45 IVF centres in the country,” he said.

Prof Ashiru was beside himself with joy and said international standard should be maintained in the clinic and it “includes training of embryologists, who will be certified and willing to train other embryologists.  Success of IVF is in the laboratory. “World Health Organisation (WHO) standard should be brought back here, including documentation,” he said.

LUTH’s Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Chris Bode, said the clinic will make IVF service affordable, accessible and available, “As this is a foremost institution of excellence and we have the experts here that get things done,” he said.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Lilypie Assisted Conception tickersLilypie - Personal picture

Nigeria :Why Success Rate of In-Vitro Fertilisation Can't Be Determined in Nigeria - Expert

Dr. Ajayi
A consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Dr Abayomi Ajayi, has said it is difficult to determine the success rate of In-Vitro Fertilisation, IVF, in the country due to lack of monitoring agencies.

Speaking in Asaba during the Physicians' Roundtable with the theme 'Personalised IVF: New Techniques to Improve Success Rate', Ajayi decried the lack of monitoring agencies and dearth of records to ascertain the success rate of breakthroughs in reproductive health across the country.

He said: "We can't talk about success rate in Nigeria because there are no monitoring agencies. You can talk about success rate in your own clinic that is what you know about your clinic. For us, our success rate is equal to what you find in advanced parts of the world."

While saying that the success rate can only determined at the individual clinics where IVF services are rendered, Ajayi who is the Managing Director of Nordica Fertility Centre, debunked the claim in some quarters that IVF services were beyond the reach of citizens at the lower rung of the economic ladder.

"When people say that IVF is expensive, I know that it is not cheap but I don't know if it is expensive. People sometimes have the idea that IVF is up to N5 million above. It is not, at least I know in my own clinic. What I say most of the time is that, if you can buy a fairly used car, you can get IVF. So, you have to find out how much it is in the clinic you are going to and know how to access it. It is not cheap but it is not as expensive as people think.

"IVF involves the process of bringing the egg and the sperm together outside the body, and then the embryo that is formed is flushed back into the woman with the hope that it becomes a baby. It is used for people who want to have children either because they are having problem bearing children or because they want to avoid a particular genetic disorder or they are looking for a particular sex."


By Festus Ahon
Source: vanguardnews

Friday, June 26, 2015


Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Hannaniya's quest for a child

It was gladness and great joy as embryos frozen more than 5 years earlier in England were sent to a Lagos clinic, transferred to Gladys’ uterus, successfully implanted and ended in a delivery of twin girls 29 weeks later…

Dr. Gladys Duruyani and Dr. Ishmael Hannaniya were married for 20 years and just like any other couple, they tried to have children.

However, unlike others, it took them several years to conceive and despite the challenge with conception and their expectations, all the pregnancies unfortunately ended in miscarriages.

This was a very grieving deal for them because the babies would grow to about five or six months in the womb and then a miscarriage would occur and some of these miscarriages were for multiple babies.

The enlightened couple utilized their globe-trotting exposure to seek medical solution overseas, all to no avail. Eventually as time progressed, Duruyani became ill and was diagnosed severally with various kinds of ailments.

She developed a type of cough the doctors could not understand and on the film some dark spots were seen in her chest region and lungs. Being devoted Christians, they sought medical solution to all the challenges yet committed them all to the Lord as they expected some miracle.

Eventually the Lord took this strange ailment away from her. Their challenges were numerous, and one day, while they dined at a Chinese restaurant in Abuja, Duruyani began to bleed.

She knew what was happening. Her husband, who is a microbiologist, a specialist neuro-physician, also rushed her to three different hospitals. Unfortunately, in each hospital, the senior doctors had all gone home.

After the third stop, he rushed her to the National Teaching Hospital where he found out again that all the senior doctors had also closed for the day.

At this point of desperation, he had to take the bull by the horn, choosing to go against the ethics of his profession that advise against a man performing such a major surgery on his spouse. He had a vague idea of what to do, besides there were some junior doctors around.

With the few junior doctors on duty, they quickly set up the theatre and began the surgery to take out the blood clot that was about to snuff life out of his beloved wife until an experienced doctor who came around the hospital for an entirely different reason heard of the situation and ran to take over the surgery already in progression.

On another day, she felt ill and in the cause of seeking a medical solution in South Africa, they were told that the blood result was bad news. The South African doctors gave the verdict; they were shaken and took the challenge once more to the Lord in prayers.

They said, “it was a rare form of blood disease.” The couple were shocked and torn apart for a while but braced up, rejecting the doctor’s report and holding unto the Lord’s report.

They sought medical solution in the UK afterwards and the doctors became puzzled and asked “who said she had a blood disease, a rare form of blood cancer? To the glory of God, the results of the latter test showed there was no trace of the cancer.

Did a miracle take place? They rejoiced and praised the Lord. Soon after this great news, they got a call from the South African doctors stating that there was a mix-up with her tests.

They investigated further and confirmed that she did not have any form of cancer in her system. Having gone through so much and having wailed on the Lord in the secret place of the Lord, they remained sober and thankful for once more sparing her life from the clutch of death.

After a while, they tried to have children again but it was to no avail as the series of miscarriages continued. Eventually they figured that since her womb could not keep the pregnancies, they would consider the option of surrogacy.

Their Harley Street doctor who is one of the first doctors in the world to successfully deliver in-vitro (IVF) babies had been very sympathetic to their cause and after series of the failed IVF had suggested surrogacy to them.

They began the necessary procedures and as embryos could be stored for years, they decided to store the excess embryos while they sought for a surrogate mother to carry their child.

Unfortunately, the surrogacy laws in Britain were so strict that it would have been impossible to find a mother to carry the child. The doctor who was natively Greek suggested that they find a surrogate in Greece.

They quickly embraced the idea but it was soon forgotten because there was a serious problem with the transportation of the embryos out of the region. When that failed, they tried to transport the embryos to Nigeria but the results were the same as that of Greece. It seemed like they would never be able to have their own children so they opted for adoption.

They adopted a little boy now six years old and they later adopted a girl who is now aged four. Duruyani’s body had gone through so much strain over these years and age was not on her side as she was classified as High Risk Pregnancy (if she took in).

On two occasions she had been diagnosed with a strange form of cancer, and later lymphoma, she had suffered a hemorrhage, suffered from a strange cough which left dark patches on her lungs, she had suffered emotional, physical and psychological trauma at the travails she had gone through amongst other health challenges too numerous to mention. She had also been on total bed rest all through these series of pregnancies that resulted in miscarriages.

Yet from all these, the Good Lord delivered her from the cold hands of death. Her husband, Hannaniya, who is a rare Igbira man from Kogi State and a distinguished gentleman remained a most loving husband to her, an Igbomina from Kwara State and kept all their travails away from family and friends.

THEY loved and doted on their two adopted children and once more wondered if it was necessary to have more children having gone through so much agony in their quest for their own biological children.

The Lord understood the desires of their heart and decided to seal their faith with a remarkable gift to them in the year 2014. They got a call from their doctor in Harley Street that the Law had lifted the storage limit of the human eggs/embryo which negated the earlier law of five years. Perhaps because they were silently thinking once more of their unborn children, they became expectant as a result of the serendipity they experienced.

Once more at this point in time, her embryos were still available and having tried all to no avail, including the suggestion of surrogacy that could not hold for statutory reasons, their deciding to try once more was not out of place.

This time they asked for the frozen embryos to be sent to Nigeria and this became the appointed time for them, as they were able to transport these embryos and implant them in Lagos, Nigeria.

Twenty-nine weeks after the implantation of the embryo, Dr. Hannaniya, while at work, got a call from the surgeon that his twin baby girls had been delivered weighing 0.9kg and 1kg respectively. He could not believe his ears and questioned the time and date of delivery to which the surgeon responded that it was either they were saved at that point in time or they were lost like all the others gone.

Dr. Hannaniya, knowing what everybody in this country and beyond knew which was that the babies had a slim chance of survival in a country like Nigeria, did not get excited. He did not worry either but chose as usual to leave this one more challenge to God.

For the first time their babies had been delivered alive so it was clear that the Lord had given them the miracle of an identical twin birth but with the incessant power outages and the inadequate medical care especially for neonates in the incubators, what would be the fate of these little ones? As usual and with wisdom, he chose to keep the news away from family and friends for he did not want to get excited over his preterm babies. They willingly submitted the case to the Lord and waited for time to celebrate if it was the will of God for them.

As God gave his approval, both babies survived and were christened Grace and Esther on Sunday, 22nd March 2015 at the time of their expected date of delivery.

The other two children who had been adopted were also christened on the same day aged six and four. There was a lovely celebration of the two healthy babies and their older adopted siblings afterwards at the beautiful event organized by the family in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. Their phenomenal testimony was shared by the husband himself and all those present were amazed as Dr. Hannaniya shared this incredible testimony of over 90 minutes while their guests were entertained with food and drinks.

Their parents, siblings, relations, friends, colleagues and well-wishers were speechless and moved to tears of joy for the Grace of God on his beloved children, Duruyani and Hannaniya, as they finally found complete joy in their now family of six.

There were great lessons to learn from the power of prayers and the power in sealed lips for they did not give room to any interference or sympathy from family and friends.

They had toured the world in search of children of their own, they had spent money over the years, the Lord continued to provide for them and eventually when they least expected it, the Lord showed them that something good could still come out of their own country, Nigeria, and this was the serendipity of our Lord, the perfection of science, their dogged hope and above all, the abundant blessings of the Great God they serve.




Tuesday, May 5, 2015

First Surrogate In-vitro Fertilization (ivf) Baby In South East Nigeria

On Friday the 3rd of April 2015 in LIFE SPECIALIST HOSPITAL LTD Nnewi Anambra State a major medical breakthrough occurred. The South East of Nigeria took delivery of its FIRST SURROGATE IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION (IVF) BABY. This feat was achieved by a doctor who has achieved so much in this area over the past few years, Professor Joseph Ikechebelu. Facebook doctors spoke with him but before you read the interview, what is IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION INTRACYTOPLASMIC SPERM INJECTION (ICSI)
IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION (IVF) is a series of complex procedures and the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) used in the treatment of fertility and some genetic problems. It has offered hope and put smiles on the faces of couples who for reason or the other have not been able to achieve pregnancy and have a child of their own. fertility-image

IVF entails collecting/ harvesting mature eggs from the ovaries and fertilizing them in the laboratory using the sperm. When the egg and sperm fuse and form the embryo, it is then transferred to the uterus for implantation and growth into a baby (the so called test tube baby). The eggs and sperm can come from known or unknown donors, fused and transferred to a recipient (mother) who will then carry it to term and own the baby. Sometimes, a man whose partner can not carry a pregnancy but can produce eggs, can have the eggs harvested, fertilized by the partner’s sperm and transferred to another woman’s womb (surrogate mother), who will carry it to term, deliver the baby and hand it to the parents. One cycle of IVF can take about two weeks and can be time consuming,expensive, minimally invasive but it is worth the try. It can also produce twins or triplets (multiple pregnancy) of desired sexes. You are a candidate of IVF if you have the following:

a) Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes

b) Ovarian failure

c) Malignant diseases of the uterus or other parts of the reproductive system

d) Tubal removal or sterilization

e) Unexplained infertility


Anambra state is proud to record the birth of the first surrogate baby girl, born on friday the 3rd of April 2015 at 6.35am at the fertility centre of LIFE SPECIALIST HOSPITAL Nnewi in Anambra state.

In an interview with the Medical director and owner of the hospital, Professor Joseph Ikechebelu, (a professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology) Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, he told us that choosing fertility (which is a branch of Obstetrics and Gynaecology) to him, is like a calling from God. Hear him….

FBD: We are members of the team of Facebook doctors, an online health magazine or blog. We logged on to facebook yesterday and saw you in a picture with a newborn baby who you described as the first surrogate child from IVF in your clinic, so we decided to come and find out more about it and the IVF. Prof how did you get into IVF/fertility and why did you choose this area?

Prof: (laughs) Let me say that I actually chose fertility as a calling. Some people may have it as a place where they like to be but as for me, it is like a directive from God to move into fertility and help people achieve their life ambition of becoming pregnant and having a baby.

FBD: You must be very good at it because we have heard reports and when we got here we were like “is this the humble place where these things happen?”

Prof: (laughs heartily)

FBD: It is something to celebrate really but what exactly is in-vitro fertilization?

Prof: IVF is a special reproductive technique for achieving a pregnancy where you harvest the egg from the woman and sperm from the partner and fuse the two in the laboratory, when the embryo is formed, you put it back in the womb to grow. In-vitro means outside the body, so it is a fertilization that is taking place outside the body but you have to return it into the womb for it to start growing.

FBD: And now we have a surrogate baby, that means somebody else carried the baby? PROF AND BABY Prof Ikechebelu and the new surrogate baby

Prof: (nods) Beautiful! In surrogacy as it is called, for one reason or the other the womb of the woman can not carry the pregnancy but she still has ovaries and can generate her own eggs. So in this particular woman we had, she has an absent uterus, a kind of malformation she was born with. But she has her ovaries and eggs, so all we did was harvest her eggs and the husband’s sperm, fertilize it in the laboratory. When it formed an embryo, we transferred it into a 3rd party, the surrogate mother.

FBD: How did you get the 3rd party?

Prof: The 3rd party is usually a person who is willing for a fee to give the service. All they need to do is write an agreement and carry the pregnancy, deliver and hand it over to the couple because the genetic material is from the couple. This is where you want to have a baby of your own…because when we talk about the levels of parenting or what makes a child your own, the genetic material must come from you. All you lack is the suitable environment to grow the embryo and that’s what is ‘hired’…we hired a womb to carry the pregnancy.

FBD: But in hiring a womb to carry the pregnancy, does it not affect the baby..I mean the environment where the embryo grows?

Prof: No! Usually once there is fertilization and the embryo is formed, every genetic material it needs to grow is there, all you need is the environment. It is just like taking a newborn baby whose mother died after childbirth and give it to a foster parent for them to bring him up.

FBD: That brings me to ethics and genetic engineering and mutation. What is your take on this?

Prof: Genetic engineering…yes, it’s in progress now and they are even talking about cloning, These are all new technologies and fal louts of IVF.

FBD: Is it right or wrong? What do you think about it?

Prof: Mmmm…aah..The question whether it is right or wrong is relative. Why I said that is this; If it is used for the purpose of advancing knowledge and science, it is right. But if it is used negatively to kill or produce a technology that destroys life, then it is wrong. BABY1 The New Surrogate Baby

FBD: How far has IVF gone in helping those in the conditions you mentioned?

Prof: That’s a very good question. I will say that IVF is a God-given procedure and has helped so many couples who for one reason or the other cannot have a child. Some people because their fallopian tubes are blocked, they live a life of condemnation, some people because of a surgery they did that destroyed some parts of their reproductive system, it is not a fault of theirs. Some men whose spermatic cord are mistakingly tied for instance, during herniorrhaphy but still have sperm in their testes, are some of those cases that IVF has provided an answer to. The sperm or eggs in these cases can be harvested and used to achieve pregnancy and the couples will be satisfied. Remember that marriage in an African setting is for child bearing. No matter how much love they confess to each other other, once a child is not there, the love vanishes. (general laughter).

FBD: So sir, what are the dangers associated with IVF?

Prof: The dangers are minimal I will say but the one we really know of is hyperstimulation syndrome. During the process of trying to get the eggs, if you overstimulate the ovaries, they can develop hyperstimulation syndrome and if it is severe, can lead to death. But every doctor who is using this technology knows how to avoid that, using proper precautions. Once the syndrome is not there, you can do IVF as many times as it is possible.

FBD: How far has IVF spread in Nigeria? Is it something we have cottoned on to?

Prof: IVF is all over the country and has come to stay, the challenge is that it is still very expensive. In developed countries, people have health insurance and can take care of about 6 cycles of IVF, but in Nigeria, people pay from their pockets. PROF1 Professor Joseph Ikechebelu MD Life Specialist Hospital Nnewi

FBD: Why is it so?

Prof: Because our health insurance scheme is still very young, so they start by covering those basic ailments that affect more people- the masses. Fertility affects just about 2-3% of the general population.

FBD: What is your advice to people out there who have fertility problems?

Prof: Well my advice is if you want to have a child of your own when natural conception is impossible, IVF provides a solution to that so once you can afford the money, go for it.

FBD: Are you also advising people all over the country who need IVF to come down to Nnewi?

Prof: There are many fertility centres all over the country where IVF is done, but if you feel that what we are doing is good enough for you and you have faith, why not? I always tell people to have some faith in whatever they do. This is science but we still need to have some faith.

FBD: I was going to ask what it is with doctors and faith because everywhere you go, you hear them saying something like In God we trust….We treat but God heals…

Prof: (smiles) Yes, faith is important because we still have some limitations in IVF. There are some certain areas that are not within our control for instance, the preparation, harvesting of the eggs and the fertilization can be controlled, we can put it in the incubator, we can even do intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) where we can select a single sperm cell and inject it into an egg…yes we can do all that but once the embryo is formed, check it, select it and put it inside the womb, at that stage of what we call embryo-endometrial cross stuck, from there, we have no other control and that is where we apply faith to get it to implant. We however, know that there are things that can be done to increase the rate of implantation but they are still under research. That is also the stage where most IVF procedures fail.

FBD: Alright prof, thanks for granting us an audience, we are most grateful.

Prof: Thank you.

FBD: uhm…, we also wish to talk to the surrogate mother and the biological mother of the baby, is it possible?

Prof: Oh well, it is possible and i have spoken to them earlier about it but high level of confidentiality should be maintained in this case…you understand?…

Written by Dr. JOY OKECHUKWU EBUSSON of facebookdoctor team