Two women aged 52 and 55 years are safely pregnant and will have their first babies very soon.
The women who had lost hope of ever having their own biological children due to gynaecological problems are a showcase of the marvels of the Gynaecological Endoscopic Surgery and Human Reproductive Teaching Hospital in Yaounde.
The General Manager of the hospital, Prof. Jean Marie Kassia, narrated the success story of the women (whose names he withheld) during the inauguration of the institution by the First Lady, Chantal Biya recently.
The two women, who got pregnant through in-vitro fertilization technique, have triggered a glimmer of hope for couples who are grappling with infertility problems.
According to official statistics, 30 percent of married couples in Cameroon are facing the nightmare of childlessness due to infertility. The hope that such a hospital, which is rated as the best in Central Africa, has brought to such couples is enormous. But observers are raising fears that it could rather bring hopelessness to poor couples because of the exorbitant cost of treatment there.
The Post learnt for instance that a couple going in for in-vitro fertilization should hold at least FCFA 2 million. This explains why many critics have described the institution as a “hospital only for the rich.”
For one thing, it is good news that the hospital whose construction started in 1999 existed at all. It is well stocked with state-of-the-art equipment that ensures safe endoscopic surgery, in-vitro fertilization, painless epidural childbirth and plastic breast surgery.
The reproductive health hospital has ultra-modern equipment for childbirth and six labour, delivery and operations rooms. It also has prenatal diagnosis laboratories with an intracytoplasmic sperm injection room as well as ultra sound rooms. It is devoted to procreation.
Friday’s ceremony was only the inauguration ceremony of the hospital. It had already opened consultations on gynaecological issues on April 14, 2014. It handles cases like uterine fibroids and infertility arising from the obstruction of the fallopian tubes. It equally receives pregnant women who are coming from other hospitals. Thus, most cases in the hospital border on endoscopic surgery, gynaecological cancer surgery, among others.
The hospital gives hope to childless couples in in-vitro fertilization, intra-uterine insemination, gamete/embryo freezing, oocyte, sperm and embryo puncture.
Going by the Director of the hospital, 83 percent of surgeries at the centre are endoscopic, meaning they do not open the patient’s abdomen.
The Minister of Public Health, André Mama Fouda, described the hospital as a centre that will guarantee that women play the role of procreation.
To Chantal Biya, the hospital is hope for sterile couples.
“The first medically-assisted procreation exercise was not a bed of roses. But, God would want it, it was all successful and a child was born. We fought hard and it was a good fight. We are calling on childless couples to seize the opportunity. Come and get solutions to your problems. A team of experts is ready to give smiles to couples,” a midwife in the hospital advised.