IVF In Vitro Fertilisation
An ovum being fertilised through IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation).

IVF Still Expensive In Nigeria, Says Expert


According to Dr. Sunday Onu, the Medical director of Deda Hospital, Abuja, IVF is still expensive in Nigeria because the needed equipment for procedures are imported.

Therefore, he urged that the government takes a second look at the healthcare sector with a view to help address some of the challenges responsible for the high cost of healthcare in the country.

Dr. Onu, who spoke during the hospital’s 10th anniversary, explained that Deda services had gone beyond Nigeria as they had received a lot of patients coming from the UK, Canada and the USA and other countries to access services in the centre.

“When you talk about IVF, yes indeed it is very expensive, if you ask me I say, why it is very expensive is because 100 percent of things used in IVF are imported and as the exchange rate is skyrocketing, the cost of providing this technology is also skyrocketing.”

He then ascribed Custom duties with the high cost of IVF in Nigeria, as according to him, “custom duties on medical equipment and consumables are not as simple as they used to be. Some of the medical equipment and consumables are being labelled wrongly as electronic equipment because they have some electronic component and they put so high a charge on it. That is not making us deliver service at the barest minimum. It is one of the challenges that we are facing.”

Aside from the issues that are associated with imported equipment, Dr. Onu had also identified the challenge of power in the country.

“The problem of power is a major one in the health industry because in a hospital, we must run 24/7 on power. We cannot afford to go out of power for one minute. There is no electricity, you don’t get it often and electricity bill keeps on doubling every time and the cost of diesel, which is an alternative power supply, is astronomical, it is so unbelievable now and all these are making delivery of quality healthcare at an affordable rate difficult.”

Thus, he urged for the government to take a second look and give the health sector proper attention by asking the power holding companies to give major priority to hospitals, which will then reduce the dependence on diesel.

As to how his hospital is able to still carry on despite facing numerous challenges, Dr. Onu said “However, I keep saying don’t compromise standard, we do not do that; rather we maintain the cost without compromising the standard.”