What you need to know:
- In Kenya, IVF treatment costs range between Sh400,000 to Sh600,000 depending on the clinic chosen, according to Nairobi IVF Center.
- Fertility treatments are often are not covered by insurance. Further, infertility diagnoses and drugs related to IVF are not covered by the National Health Insurance Fund.
Around 17.5 per cent of the adult population – roughly one in six worldwide – experience infertility, showing the urgent need to increase access to affordable, high-quality fertility care for those in need, according to a new report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The report comes amid concerns over the exorbitant costs of fertility treatments that have driven families into financial ruin.
WHO has decried the outrageous cost of accessing fertility treatments.
According to WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the report highlights the scale of infertility issue and the need to urgently tackle it by addressing treatment costs.
“An important fact is revealed by the report. Infertility, as a health condition, does not discriminate,” stated the WHO boss.
“The sheer proportion of the affected individuals is a vivid proof of the need to extend fertility care access and also ensure that this condition is incorporated in health policy and research henceforth. This will provide those affected with affordable, effective and safe means of attaining parenthood.”
There are three main types of fertility treatment: Medicines, surgical procedures and assisted conception – including intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
IVF treatment comprises all medications for pregnancy tests, stimulating the ovaries, retrieving eggs, transferring the embryo, and ultrasound examinations.
In Kenya, IVF treatment costs range between Sh400,000 to Sh600,000 depending on the clinic chosen, according to Nairobi IVF Center.
Fertility treatments are often are not covered by insurance. Further, infertility diagnoses and drugs related to IVF are not covered by the National Health Insurance Fund.
“Lack of affordable fertility treatments is likely to impoverish families, cautioned Dr Pascale Allotey, WHO’s director in charge of sexual and reproductive health and research.
“Millions contend with crippling costs of healthcare in the process of seeking infertility cure, which makes it a trap for medical poverty and a major issue on equity for the affected people,” she stated.
“In order to safeguard poor populations from financial ruin and improve treatment, access measures for public financing and better policies should be put in place.”
Africa is among three continents with the lowest infertility rates, according to the report.
At 10.7 per cent, the Eastern Mediterranean, which includes North Africa and Middle East , has the lowest infertility rate, followed by Africa and Europe at 13.1 per cent and 16.5 per cent respectively.
The highest infertility rate at 23.2 per cent was recorded in the Western Pacific region, which comprises New Zealand, Australia, Japan and China.
America has the second highest infertility rate at 20 per cent, as indicated by the WHO report.