Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The History of IVF in Nigeria

By Oyeyemi Gbenga Mustapha

In Nigeria, the first attempt at using the technique of in-vitro fertilisation came as result of the research done by Prof. Oladapo Ashiru in his Reproductive Endocrinology Laboratory at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.
Prof Ashiru and his postgraduate student, Dr Akin Abisogun, started the research in1983 and this led to the successful in-vitro fertilisation and pregnancy of rats. This experimental work published and presented at several national and international conferences, such as the proceedings of the anatomical Society of West Africa in 1984.

Human IVF
Prof Oladapo Ashiru and his team in the Department of Anatomy and Prof Osato Giwa-Osagie of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) also started the process of Assisted Reproductive Technology in humans in the latter part of 1983. The first pregnancy ended as a miscarriage in 1984.

The announcement of the success attracted the visitation of a ministerial team to the College of Medicine/LUTH headed by the then Minister of Health, Dr Emmanuel Isan. His panel commended the efforts of Prof Ashiru and Giwa-Osagie. Another panel constituted by the minister headed by Prof T. I. A. Grillo visited the team in LUTH. It concluded that it was actually the only team doing IVF in Nigeria and they should be commended for their efforts in IVF technology. The late Prof Olikoye Ransome-Kuti as a minister set up another panel headed by Prof Adeleye from the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan to see how the team in LUTH could be funded.
Even though they acknowledged and commended their work, no money came to support the project.

In 1985, Dr Olatubosun and his team from St. Nicholas reported a delivery of a baby from Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer (GIFT). In 1986, the Ashiru and Giwa-Osagie team also reported the delivery of a baby from GIFT. This was a nursing member of staff from LUTH. The first delivery of a baby through in-vitrofertilisation (IVF) in LUTH occurred in 1989 by Giwa-Osagie and Ashiru with the delivery of a baby girl. The mother had lost her two fallopian tubes from ectopic pregnancies in the United Kingdom (UK) and had become pregnant from her first IVF attempt in LUTH. This was the first in Nigeria and, indeed, in West Africa and East Africa. The success was reported and published widely both at national and international fora.

IVF from 1990 to 2000
In 1994, Prof Ashiru relocated to the United States of America to continue working in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology. Though several Nigerians were able to have babies from his Chicago experience, but the IVF work in LUTH came to a halt.
In 1998, Dr Wada and his team at Nosa-Premier (Nordica)Hospital reported the successful pregnancy from embryo transfer in Abuja. This was followed by the first report of a successful fertilisation and delivery of a baby from ICSI by Dr Richard Ajayi and his team at the Bridge Clinic in Lagos in 2001.

Spread and proliferation of IVF clinics from 2001 till date
Apart from the above, other centres have reported births from IVF in their clinics, they include Dr Iketubosun in Lagos, 2002; Dr Igoeli in Aba, 2003; Dr Ogunkoya in Lagos, 2003; Dr Abayomi Ajayi, Nordica, Lagos, 2004; Dr Alasa Kingscare, Abuja, 2005; Dr Idahosa, DIFF, Abuja, 2005, National Hospital, Abuja 2006 and Prof Orhue and his team at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital,2007.
In addition, some centres reported successes from various new types of Assisted Reproductive technology.
They include the first report of birth from a patient with Turner’s syndrome through donor egg by Prof Giwa-Osagie and his team at the Advanced Fertility Centre, Lagos. In 2006. Prof Ashiru and his team at the Medical Art Centre, Lagos made the report of birth from IVF-ICSI following Pre-IVF Fluid Instillation Hysterosonography (PIFIS) and subsequent Ultrasound Guided Embryo Transfer (UGET) in a 42-year -old lady with 12 years primary infertility. Dr Abayomi Ajayi of Nordica, Lagos reported a 56 -year -old who received treatment in his clinic and delivered safely.

National Statistics
There is no national body regulating the practice aside the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN). Some of the experts are concerned about quacks ripping people off and are already making attempts to compile national statistics in Nigeria. However, most of the IVF centres have reported a success rate. Some known centres Advanced Fertility Clinic, Lagos, Bridge Clinic, Lagos, Hope Valley Fertility Centre, Lagos, Kingscare Hospital, Abuja, Medical Art Centre (MART), Lagos,National Hospital, Abuja, Nisa Premier/Nordica, Abuja, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin and Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos and Asaba.



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