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Challenges with assisted reproductive technology (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa

 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Preye O Fiebai,
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajiac.ajiac_8_22

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the regions with the highest prevalence of infertility in the world. Despite the high prevalence of infertility in sub-Saharan Africa, it is the region with the least number of assisted reproductive technology (ART) facilities in the world. The challenges facing the rapid development of ART in sub-Saharan Africa stem from the socioeconomic, political, religious, and cultural background and the ethical issues surrounding the practice of ART. The establishment of ART centers in this subregion is a welcome development because it creates awareness and improves access to care and follow-up with the technological advancements in other regions of the world. However, the society has the responsibility to ensure that the advances made through ART are implemented in a socially responsible and acceptable manner. National governments should address the infrastructural problems such as power, roads, security, manufacturing, importation clearance, and healthcare facilities in their subregions. At the regional levels, training centers should be established across the region for proper formal training for all cadres of ART practitioners—doctors, embryologists, nurses, counsellors, and administrative staff. The governments of the various countries in sub-Saharan Africa should encourage, regulate, and control the practices of ART in line with local sociocultural norms.

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