Five Nigerian couples with the challenge of infertility stand to benefit from fully-funded fertility treatment cycles as the Fertility Treatment Support Foundation ( FTSF ) kick starts the 2015 series of funded fertility treatment campaigns for indigent Nigerians.
In this year’s programme, 15 couples will stand a chance to receive the free screening while five couples will receive the full treatment. This will be done via an electronic raffle draw.
A registered non-profit organisation based in Lagos, FTSF provides financial support and services for infertile couples, in partnership with Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos/Asaba/Abuja, with the goal of enabling Nigerian couples with the challenge of infertility, to access full assisted reproduction technology, ART, services, in form of Free IVF treatment cycles.
In addition to providing opportunity for infertile couples to have their own biological children completely free of charge, the FTSF campaign also serves to heighten awareness about the availability of treatment for infertility in addition to presenting a support system or platform for interaction.
Formerly known as Expanded Access to Reproductive Treatment (EART) Foundation, FTSF was established in 2008 as a result of the increasing prevalence of infertility in the society.
The free fertility treatment contest began on Thursday with a press briefing at the Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, which flagged off entries for the competition. Entries for the competition will close on October 18, while a draw event and announcement of winners is to take place October 25.
To participate in this year’s edition, infertility challenged couples are to send SMS/text to 09081190600 or 08080800156. SMS should be titled: FREE IVF and followed by your phone number and name of couple (Mr. & Mrs. XXX).
Infertility is one of the leading causes of social frustration and marginalization, particularly in developing countries. It affects over 20 per cent of couples worldwide, with male infertility contributing for about half of the cases.
With research stating that one in five couples are face fertility challenges, the need for assisted reproductive treatment is on the rise. However the affordability of the treatment is one of the major common causes for concern of the fertility-challenged couples and in order to keep the dreams of the fertility-challenged couples alive, FTSF was born, a statement from the foundation explained.
The foundation over the years has provided free fertility screening and treatment to over 126 less-privileged couples as her contribution to helping them realize their baby dreams. It also educates and enlightens programmes to the public and the medical professionals.
The statement further said that Q3 2015 edition of “Little Miracles” an initiative of FTSF is open to all indigent and infertility challenged couples (Nigerians only) from all regions of the country, adding that only two entries are allowed per couple using two different telephone numbers in order to increase their chances
The statement from the Foundation explains that entries should be sent via SMS only and stressed: “Only two entries are allowed per couple using two different telephone numbers in order to increase their chances.”
The statement said: ‘The ‘Little Miracles’ contest, Q3 2015 will start on September 17 and end October 18, while the draw event takes place at Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island, while the ‘Little Miracles diaries’ will run from November 2015 to 2016.”
The ‘Little Miracles diaries’ covers the period of treatment for infertile couples, conception and delivery, serving as a method of measuring the success rate.
Mrs. Tola Ajayi, Head of Clinics, while speaking at a briefing to kick-off the free treatment programme, tagged: “Little Miracles,” explained the whole idea is to explain the miraculous nature of conception.
According to her, ‘the evolution of conception is indeed a miracle from God.’ The Clinic boss said: “Little Miracles”, an initiative of FTSF will be giving away free fertility screening and treatment to couples on Sunday October 25, via an electronic draw. All you have to do is send a text with the title: ‘ Free IVF, your names, and phone number to these numbers – 09081190600 or 08080800156.’
Managing Director, Nordica Fertility Clinic, Lagos, Asaba and Abuja, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, remarked: “People should come out of their shells to address the issue of infertility.” He said from research, one out of every four couples is fertility-challenged, thereby, informing the appreciable demand for ART, solutions.
Ajayi argued that affordability of treatment is a common cause for concern of fertility-challenged couples and it is to keep the dreams of fertility-challenged couples alive, that FTSF was born.
“Having children is the most natural process, but today, due to diverse challenges faced by couples, the process to conceive is being paid for,” Mama Esther Adigwe, the Lead Counsellor, FTSF, explained, adding “this is why the foundation each year supports couples by giving free treatment and screening to the fertility challenged couples.
She called for support for couples with infertility problems. Her words: “We enjoin everyone here to spread the word of hope to couples. And we at FTSF will continue to provide the much needed support system or platform for those couples who are fertility challenged to interact and share their problems.”
Similarly, the Lead Counsellor who is also a mother, grandmother and retired Head nurse also said the programme is tagged, ‘Little Miracles’ in line with its goal to put smile on the faces of many couples.
She said: “On Sunday, October 25, the foundation would like to bring joy and happiness to a lot of couples by giving away free fertility screening and full treatment to the fertility challenged couples via the “Little Miracles” contest. 15 couples will stand a chance to receive the free screening while five couples will receive the full treatment. This will be done via an electronic raffle draw.”
“The foundation in her seven years of existence has provided free fertility treatment and screening for over 126 couples, because it is targeted at providing fertility assistance to indigent Nigerians who have been under intense emotional pressure due to our cultural norms as regards child bearing as well as not having the capacity to undertake a fertility procedure, due to its cost implication.”
Debowale Sangosanya, ACT Marketing, enjoined Nigerians to join in the efforts to address infertility in the society just as she told couples with success stories of IVF treatment to share it.
Sangosanya explained that the programme is tagged ‘Q3 2015’ because it is taking place in the third quarter of the year and added FTSF hope to hold the programme quarterly.
She said: “We need to continually champion this cause and encourage couples to speak out on time. So they are better educated and given the needed assistance. It is the desire of the foundation to make available this free treatment on a quarterly basis as funds avail.”
This story was published in Newswatch Times on September 19, 2015.
Friday, 9 October 2015
Infertility: Five indigent couples to receive free treatment from FTSF
Chioma Umeha is an investigative journalist and editor with decades of experience in reporting health, science, business, education, politics, women and gender issues in Africa. She is a multiple award winning journalist and has attended several local and international workshops/trainings. Chioma is a member of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), International AIDS Society (IAS) Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Journalists' Alliance for PMTCT in Nigeria, Health Writers Association of Nigeria (HEWAN), Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport among others. She is also Chairman, Society for Media Advocacy on Health in Nigeria, a body of health journalists that largely uses advocacy, statistics and analytical research to secure the health and wellbeing of the people through development journalism. Chioma holds a M.A. degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies from Lagos State University, B.Sc. degree in Mass Communication from Enugu State University of Science and Technology. In the religious circle, she is a Sunday School Teacher and a Counsellor. She is happily married to Don Umeha and blessed with three lovely children.
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