'Childless women suffer discrimination, stigma'

Doctors from Africa, who completed three month certificate course in IVF training, in Manipal.

Societal pressure is such that, be it in India or Africa, infertility makes a woman feel inadequate and the people around her do not make things easy for her, MAHE Pro Chancellor Dr H S Ballal said.

“While both the male and female factors are determining fertility, it is generally a woman who undergoes the trauma caused by infertility.”

Ballal was addressing African doctors and scientists, who completed three-month certificate course on IVF training, in Manipal.

“In many culture, childless women suffer discrimination, stigma, and ostracism. Their inability to bear children results in isolation, disinheritance and even assaults.”

MAHE in association with Merck Foundation’s ‘Merck More Than A Mother’ campaign had launched certificate course in IVF training 18 months ago. So far, 55 doctors and scientists from African countries, Bangladesh, Russia and South East Asian nations have completed the training programme, Ballal said.

“The initiative by the Department of Clinical Embryology at KMC-Manipal has enabled scientists and gynecologists from African countries to get trained in Manipal. Some of them are doing well back home,’’ said Dr Poornima Baliga, Pro Vice Chancellor of Health Science.

KMC Manipal (Dean) Dr Sharath Rao said, “To address the lack of trained and skilled health professionals in this area, KMC is aiming to increase the number of embryologists who can provide quality service in an ethical manner. We are glad to be a part of this initiative of Merck Foundation.”

“MAHE and Merck Foundation are planning to scale-up the IVF training to more African and Asian countries in addition to other developing countries,” said Dr Satish Adiga, coordinator of the programme in Manipal.

Ethiopia

“Ethiopia is a good example of success of the programme. They did not have any fertility centre until a year ago. One doctor after the training started a clinic back home, which is doing very well,” Dr Adiga added.

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