DHA unit to sponsor fertility treatments
Dubai, January 16, 2013
The Dubai Gynecology and Fertility Centre (DGFC), a highly specialised centre of the Dubai health Authority (DHA), will sponsor fertility treatments needed by Emirati couples who are facing infertility problems.
Known as the ‘Amal’ initiative which means hope, the DGFC will sponsor the cost of all cycles of fertility treatment needed for Emirati men and women who are suffering from infertility problems.
Essa Al Maidoor, director-general of the Dubai Health Authority, said: “This gesture will provide hope to families who were unable to seek infertility treatment earlier due to financial constraints.
“The DGFC is one of the pioneers in infertility treatment in the region and so far 3000 babies have been born through assisted reproductive technology (ART) provided at the centre.”
Dr Fatma Musabih, director of DGFC, said: “This noble gesture will provide hope to hundreds of Emirati couples who would like to seek treatment for infertility. On an average, per year, we have about 500 to 600 Emirati couples who are treated at the centre.”
“The approximate cost of one trial of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is Dh22,000 ($5,988) and the cost for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is Dh26,000,” said Dr Awatif Al Bahar, DGFC medical director and consultant in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Endocrine Infertility at the Dubai Health Authority.
“These are average charges of treatment and only cover the cost of medications, medical instruments and lab work involved. Being a government centre, our aim is not profit making, our prices are lower than the private sector because our aim is to serve the community.”
She added that the most common cause of infertility in men is low sperm count and for women it is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which can be caused due to several reasons such as genetic predisposition, stress etc. “The important for couples is that there is hope. With advances in science and technology, fertility centres around the world have high success rates.”
Dr Al Bahar said that the pregnancy rates at the DGFC are at par with international standards. “For patients above 40 years the rate is 45 per cent and for women below 40 years it is 55 per cent.”
Dr Al Bahar added: “One of patients came to us and mentioned that she was trying to get pregnant for the last 30 years. Through assisted reproduction technology, she conceived last year and today she has a beautiful and healthy one-year old daughter and is now trying to get pregnant again.”
Dr Al Bahar said that the centre is the first in the Middle-East region to test patients for genetic disorders, including Thalassemia and other DNA related diseases. In addition the centre provides testing and treatment for patients with repeated miscarriages.
“Earlier many of these women use to go overseas for treatment but since this testing facility is provided at the centre, they are now able to seek treatment while staying in the country, which is more convenient for them and their families,” she said.
Al Bahar said the DGFC centre was established in 1991 and in 2009 the centre relocated to its new premises in Dubai Healthcare City. The centre is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and has an operating theatre, laboratory, ultrasound machines etc.
She added that the patient relations team consists of Arabic and English speaking staff, catering to different cultural needs. – TradeArabia News Service