Ayodeji Ake

Processed foods or chemically grown foods are some of the major risk factors for male infertility, Consultant Obstetrician Gynecologist and President, Association of Fertility Reproductive Health (AFRH), Dr. Faye Iketubosin,has said.

Stating this at a forum on Ethics in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) organised by AFRH in Lagos, he said Nigerians are now embracing the Western lifestyle, especially in areas of foods, while abandoning the natural foods the country was used to, noting that this is unhealthy, especially in areas of fertility.

According to him, while male infertility could be trace to chemically grown and processed foods, the female infertility is sometimes caused by their career pursuit resulting to delay in child bearing.

“Male fertility has been on the increase for the last 20 years. The average sperm count in men has dropped so much that the World Health Organisation actually revised the figure downward from 20 million to 15 million

“The way out is for us to embrace organic farming. Some countries have gone back to that. We can replicate same if government actually looks at agricultural policies in that direction,” he said.

Speaking from a religious perspective, Dr. Ahmad Sa’eid of the Department of Surgery, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital ( LASUTH), who was a panelist argued that for IVF to be considered, the religions in the country should be put into consideration.

“When making laws regarding fertility, our government should take into perspective that we are a religious conscious nation. More than 90 per cent of the population is either Christians or Muslims. I know childbearing brings joy, but the fact that I want to feel that joy does not mean I must go get it at all cost,” he said.

Chairman, AFRH Ethics Committee, Dr. Richardson Ajayi, said the essence of the programme was to enable the practitioners reflect on the perspective of the society as regards religion and non-religion.

“The whole concept of ethics is the fusion of different positions. There are religious groups that have certain positions and non-religious groups that have a certain position, so we are only trying to reflect the framework of our society by getting the position we believe is right or wrong according to our own society.

“The law is a bit slow in Nigeria and one of the objectives of this forum is to be able to reflect that irrespective of the society. Once we know what the society thinks, the next thing is to try and put it into law. This is part of the journey of trying to modify the legal position of what IVF in our country should be” he said.