Provide free IVF service to poor people, say doctors

Kathmandu, June 2

Doctors have suggested to the government to provide free in vitro fertilisation service to couples facing infertility.

In 2004, Nepal started providing in vitro fertilisation service after 25 years of beginning of IVF service in the world. Around 15 to 20 per cent couples in the country are childless.

According to Dr Bhola Rijal, senior gynaecologist and IVF specialist, cases of infertility are increasing in the country due to environmental changes, diseases and migration to foreign countries for employment .

“There are a lot of couples in the rural areas without children. If infertility treatment is made available in rural areas, 85 per cent infertile couples will have children while 15 per cent of such couples can have children with IVF service,” said Dr Rijal.

OM hospital alone has  produced 1,000 test tube babies till date, he informed.

There are seven IVF centres in Kathmandu while five centres out of the valley. But these centres are not registered formally in the country.

Dr Uma Shribastav, IVF specialist and the first women doctor to launch IVF service, said that though 15 per cent couples were infertile in the country, government failed to formulate any policy and regulations to make the service easily available in every health facility of the country.

“Due to lack of government policy and service in the country, many Nepali citizens are going to neighbouring country for treatment,”she said, adding that now the IVF service was available in the country but lack of government policy and support people had to face many difficulties.

There are many IVF centres, but they lack advanced technology and the service is beyond the reach poor people.

“Providing IVF service, not only in the valley but also in different part of the country, has become necessary,” said Dr Anjani Kumar Jha, executive chairman at Nepal Health Research Council.

Speaking during inauguration of Fertility Society of Nepal organised here today, he said that it was necessary to address the problem of infertility as it had direct impact on the population of the country.