With increasing cases of stigmatization of barren people, a new fertility centre has opened doors to offer yet another choice to infertile people.
Paragon Hospital in Kampala has started a fertility centre –becoming one of only three health facilities with Assisted Reproductive Technology in the country today.
“Our fertility centre is driven by three critical issues; no stigmatization -just like HIV/AIDS, we shouldn’t stigmatize people with delivery difficulties, no blame game -that it is the woman or it is the man who doesn’t produce, and no name calling,” said William Lalobo, the hospital Managing Director.
Paragon has categorized infertility in two user perspectives to be able to be better addressed. First, there are female factors, which include; the fallopian tube problems, ovulation problems, hormone problems, complex gynaecological problems, positive HIV discordant couples and family balancing.
Then, there are male factors regarding abnormal sperm parameters such as sperm analysis and sperm bank. Also tackled are issues such as positive HIV discordant couple, family balancing and erection dysfunction.
To address them, the hospital has introduced seminology services where they do sperm analysis, count, shape, preparation and motility.
The hospital has also set up a sperm bank where you deposit your sperms just in case you worry of the quality of your sperms deteriorating with age. The bank serves as your revert option in cases where you get an accident or disease that permanently affects your sperm production.
Also, people sentenced to life imprisonment can continue to make babies with the sperm bank. For HIV discordant couples, the hospital carries out a sperm wash to clean off the virus from the sperms.
Apart from seminology services, the fertility centre also has other services such as the laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, intra uterine insemination and in-vitro fertilization where fertilization takes place outside the mother’s womb before the fertilised egg is planted into her womb or that of a surrogate mother.
“The introduction of fertility services now gives us the full range of reproductive health services. With its inclusion, it means we have both the traditional reproductive therapy and the assisted reproductive therapy (ART),” Lalobo said.
He added: “We are now open to people who are able to produce naturally and also those who need to be assisted to produce. If you have erection problems, we can assist you to produce sperms.”
Located in Bugolobi next to block 30, National Housing and Construction flats, Paragon hospital has been at the forefront of prioritizing maternal and child health.
A mother at Paragon Hospital has all medical supply at her bedside. She has a packed sterilized assortment of instruments with everything that the doctor demands in vicinity, a baby resuscitaire at her disposal for resuscitating the baby immediately after birth.
This is on top of a baby incubator, a private washroom and oxygen in every mother’s room.“These are all contributing factors to reducing infant and maternal mortality rate and they should not be an exclusive domain for Paragon Hospital but for all the service providers,” Lalobo noted.
He added: “We can’t just talk of reducing maternal and infant mortality without putting in place infrastructure and services that ensure that it is achievable. To me, if what we are doing is done by other players, then we can start to have lower mortality rates in a period of about five to six years.”
Started in 2007, the hospital boasts of a special delivery room for mothers with high blood pressure. This is fitted with a monitor to ensure continuous monitoring of the mother. The hospital has also invested heavily in a neonatal special care unit for pre-mature babies and babies born with defects.
In March alone, the hospital had three babies born at 27 weeks and they were all safely delivered. The hospital also successfully delivered a 24-week-old-baby, moving closer to the World Health Organisation world wide record of pre-term delivery of 22 weeks.
“We can do that because of this unit. You can’t talk of reducing child mortality without a neonatal special care unit. We have four paediatricians running the unit, which puts us at the edge of reducing infant mortality,” Lalobo said.
In addition to the equipment and services, the hospital has a four dimension scan (4D) which contributes to evidence based medical practice. This enables doctors to scan the mother and her baby to know their status and whether there is need for intervention.
The scan is helpful in the assessment of the reproductive organs, induction and follow-up of the follicular and ovulatory phases (using the endo-vaginal scan) and follow up of intrauterine fetal development after IVF.
Males can also be scanned for erectile dysfunction to determine the cause (arterial or venous dysfunction) “This shows the extent to which we are using technology to improve the health of mothers and babies,” Lalobo said before adding: “The level of care is holistic. You have technology for investigation, conducive atmosphere for delivery and excellent post delivery.
We are the only private hospital that offers free antenatal services every Wednesday beginning 5pm and free dental checkup for all expectant mothers. With all this, why should something go wrong? If something goes wrong, we say ‘We have tried. We gave you the best services’ ”
This is a slightly edited online version of the supplement that ran in our Monday newspaper