Health Minister inaugurates ultramodern fertility centre in Accra
An ultramodern fertility centre has been inaugurated in Accra to address infertility needs of the populace .
The centre seeks to employ “the walking egg” (TWE) technology to address infertility challenges in the country.
The technology, which is the latest form of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) methods in the world, allows the sperm of a man and the egg of a woman to fertilise outside the body for about two to five days after which it is given back to the woman to carry until delivery period.
Developed by a team of Belgian fertility experts, Ghana is so far the second country in the world to adopt the technology aside the conventional intra-uterine insemination (IUI) and intra-cervical or intra-vaginal insemination (ICI/IVI)IVF methods, for fertility treatment.
In a speech read on his behalf while inaugurating the first phase of the “Walking Egg Medical & Fertility Centre,” the Minister of Health, KwakuAgyeman-Manu, underscored the timeliness of the facility to support childless couples in the country.
An addition to the centre, which is the provision of fertility counselling, he noted was key to managing the challenge which remains a major reproductive health problem in Ghana.
“Not everybody is able to conceive naturally. About 15 per cent of Ghanaian women of childbearing age experience infertility at some point of their life and this is where fertility clinics like Walking Egg Medical Centre play an important role through the services you provide to bring relief to a lot of families who will be seeking fertility care through IVF and other health care solutions,” he stated.
Mr Agyeman-Manu admitted that due to high cost of investment required in setting up fertility treatment centres, it was mainly run by the private sector thereby accounting for the often exorbitant prices charged for such services.
He said while the government welcomes such contributions and partnerships from the private sector in the area of assisted reproductive technologies, it was working at drafting a comprehensive legislation to regulate the services and professionals working in the area.
The Minister thus enjoined practitioners to uphold relevant ethical principles and global best practices guiding the industry to build a safe population.
The Chief Executive Officer of the facility who is president of the Association of Childless Couples of Ghana (ACCOG), Dr Nana Yaw Osei, in a remark said the fertility centre was birthed out of his own experience of childlessness after 13 years of marriage.
According to him, the TWE technology was relatively affordable than other IVF methods and had come at an opportune time to cushion couples desiring children through assisted reproductive technologies.
“With the completion of phase one (the fertility block) of this project, we now have a world-class fertility centre where couples and individuals desiring for children but have limited resources can now have IVF done for them at a relatively affordable price which was a key objective of ACCOG,” he said.
The chairperson of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Professor OpokuOnyinah commended the staff and management of the Walking Egg Centre for the intervention which would bring relief to many childless couples across the country.
He encouraged couples facing infertility challenges to open up to scientific and technological innovations for conception while trusting in the Lord.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH