This article was first published on Sokodirectory.com
Fertility Point is the largest provider of fertility services in the world with fertility clinics in 12 countries spanning the US, Europe, the Middle East, South America and now Kenya.
According to data from the Kenya Fertility Society, two in every ten couples in Kenya face fertility issues– a challenge that was further aggravated by unavailability of credible fertility clinics in the country. This problem is what informed Fertility Point Clinic’s entry into the Kenyan health system. Today, thousands of couples who were struggling with infertility are proud parents courtesy of the world renowned fertility clinic.
Fertility Point is the largest provider of fertility services in the world with fertility clinics in 12 countries spanning the US, Europe, the Middle East, South America and now Kenya. It is regarded as a Centre of Excellence in Africa, specializing in providing the latest advancements in fertility solutions.
Drawing on the success of the other outlets globally, Fertility Point in Nairobi (the only one in Africa) receives couples from all over the world. Thanks to its focus on the niche market of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) – where a baby is created in a laboratory and implanted in a uterus – and the heavy investments it has made on the latest advancements in technology and fertility equipment, the clinic is helping lots of couples become parents.
The success of clinics such as Fertility Point has been associated with the gradual acceptance of fertility solutions in the country.
Most of the couples facing fertility challenges usually opt for IVF, surrogacy, or adoption, thus the improving numbers of women seeking fertility solutions. According to Dr. Rajesh Chaudhary, the Reproductive Gynecologist and IVF specialist with Fertility Point Clinic, with infertility being one of the commonest conditions affecting the reproductive age group between 20 and 45 years, the demand for IVF in Kenya is huge but the supply is far less.
“In Kenya, the reproductive population is roughly 15 million, 10 to 15 percent of which are affected with infertility. Out of this number, a further 15 percent need IVF but many of them don’t know this, which means about 90 percent of the cases are lost,” Dr. Rajesh added.
Many patients received at Fertility Point are women with the most common diagnosis being the Low Ovarian Reserve, which occurs when a woman’s ovaries lose their reproductive potential, which is usually brought on by advanced age and one cause of infertility.
The causes of infertility vary for both male and female genders. Other causes of female infertility are spread across their age and lifestyle factors. However, men’s infertility is caused by low sperm count, abnormal sperm production, sexually transmitted infections, blockages that prevent sperm delivery, health problems such as diabetes, among others.
“Most of the time, about 50 percent of the cases we receive are a result of male infertility and erectile dysfunction,” observed Dr. Rajesh.
He added that with fertility being prized in the African culture, the burden is mostly borne by women. Men are reluctant to show up for treatment, which only serves to emphasize the need to generate awareness on the topic to eradicate the deep-rooted societal stigma on the issue.
Stats from the clinic show that the local community IVF uptake, although it has improved over the years, is still low. Over 50 percent of the patients received come from other countries including Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, and as far as Togo to the West and Lesotho in Southern Africa.
Part of the reason attributed to the low figures is due to a lack of awareness among Kenyans on the right places to go for assistance. Cost is another factor. Although, when compared to other medical procedures such as laparoscopy, mastectomy, surgery, among others, IVF is comparatively cheap. Still, many cannot afford these medical procedures as they are mostly paid out-of pocket as many insurances do not cater for such
At Fertility Point, the total cost of doing IVF is roughly between Kshs. 400 thousand to slightly above Kshs. 600 thousand shillings, depending on how early one seeks medical assistance so as to improve chances of success.
“Despite such challenges, Fertility Point has the right equipment and advanced technology to prove that the benefits outweigh the cost. We’ve invested over 100 million shillings in the setup and equipment alone to have in place a state-of-the-art lab, and this has been instrumental in helping us achieve the highest fertility success rate averaging over 65 percent. This is among the best success rates globally,” Dr. Rajesh commented.
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“We have moved to become transparent with our results to help the public know that they have a chance of becoming parents with the right procedures. Most of the time, our biggest challenge is couples not being able to come back to continue the treatment for both personal and financial reasons,” said Dr. Rajesh.
Meanwhile, the clinic has already reached out to communities and partnering with hospitals to scale their operations. Currently, it is training gynecologists around the country on how to do basic services including laparoscopy, hysteroscopy before more complex procedures and processes which cannot be handled on the county level are referred to them.
On matters of expansion, the Vice President of Operations, Vishal Sharma said, “Fertility Point is looking to expand across the continent and bring quality, affordable fertility solutions closer to millions of people.”