Infertility Can Affect Mental Health, Says Ajayi

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 Martins Ifijeh

A foremost fertility expert in Nigeria and Medical Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, has called on couples with fertility issues to get appropriate help in order not to develop mental health issues.

He said mental health and infertility can be described as chicken and the egg, as there exist only a thin line between them. “We know infertile people are stressed, and this could lead to depression which is a mental disorder. So there is definitely an intercession between infertility and mental health.”

Stating this during the 14th Annual Scientific Conference of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, he said the pressure faced by Nigerian couples was because of the high premium this part of the world places on childbearing, a scenario that could cause mental health issues for infertile couples.

According to him, there is treatment for infertility. “Couples in this category need to access treatment in the hospital. We are not saying they shouldn’t go to prayer houses as is often the case, but they should get appropriate treatment from the hospital.”

On balancing medical career and administration, he said the reason why many doctors do not excel in administration was because they don’t get the required training needed for administrative leadership.

“The average doctor has a high intelligent quotient, and therefore they are easily asked to head positions that require leading people. You can’t just wake up and be a professor of Microbiology and say you are an administrator. Come on what is the rationale? What we have been trained to do is look after that person (patient) in front of us. Administration is looking after so many people at the same time. So that mindset most of the time is difficult for the doctor unless he or she is adequately trained for it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Faculty of Clinical Science, CMUL, presented the Icon of Health Promotion Award to Dr. Ajayi for his immense contribution to the healthcare industry.

On his part, the Guest Speaker, and a Professor of Psychiatry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. J. Ohaeri called for psychiatric evaluation of intending political office holders in the country, so as to ascertain their mental capacity before they are elected into various positions in the country, as their type of leadership will in turn determine what Nigerians will get from the government.

Ohaeri, who spoke on Mental Health in a Recessed Economy, said the challenges the country has was not from persons with clinical cases of mental disorder and those with schizophrenia, but with those who looked okay but when they are given positions of leadership behave strangely.