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.

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