A new charity has what many may see as a surprising mission: to bring affordable IVF to Developing Countries. The Sydney Morning Herald published an interesting article on the Low Cost IVF Foundation, and the reasons for providing affordable IVF treatments in Indonesia, Urganda, Sri Lanka, Kenya, India, & Nigeria.

As Dr Karin Hammarberg, the foundation’s deputy director, explained, “Pain of infertility was not lessened by location.”  Not only is the emotional pain of infertility a challenge for women in developing countries, but not having children may ultimately affect their safety and acceptance in the community. “Barrenness exposes (women) to ostracism and domestic violence in communities where a woman’s status is often linked to her ability to bear children.”  In addition, infertility may contribute to the “spread of HIV as men became promiscuous in their bid to have children.”  Childbearing can also play a financial role for these families.  Couples who rely on farmland for their livelihood may struggle without children to help with the land.  In addition, without other systems in place, children are expected to care for their parents as they get older.

Low Cost IVF Foundation plans to “attach clinics to existing hospitals that would provide simplified, low-cost IVF services.”  These “clinics would also offer reproductive health and contraceptive advice and safe abortions,” as,  “among the leading causes of infertility in developing nations are botched abortions and maternal infections.”

For more information, visit Low Cost IVF’s website.

 

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