A Clinical Biochemist and Molecular Diagnostic, Prof. Oluyemi Akinloye, on Friday decried the neglect of male infertility in the reproductive health system in the country.
Akinloye, Head, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The expert said that too much attention was being paid to infertility factors in females, than that of their male counterparts.
According to him, In Nigeria, the male factor contribution to infertility is estimated to be about 54 per cent, based on semen analysis.
He also said that globally, the male contribution to infertility among couples has been estimated to be about 33 per cent.
“Often, the male partners are very uncooperative, thereby obstructing the proper diagnosis and management of couples’ infertility.
“Until recently, little attention was being placed on male contribution to infertility, partly because of the widely held erroneous belief that infertility was a female problem, especially in Africa.
“The women continually suffer neglect, especially in developing countries like Nigeria; the scientific and medical communities have paid more attention to female factors than that of their male counterpart.
“About 15 per cent of all couples have fertility issues and in half of those cases, the male partner has semen deficiencies,’’ Akinloye said.
He described infertility as “a disease of the reproductive system, defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse’’.
The expert said, “Infertility is a global problem, but was described to be rampant in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Despite the high population growth rate in Africa, infertility remains a major reproductive health problem.
“Hence, infertility still consumes a large percentage of resources available for reproductive health services in Nigeria.’’
He said that the causes of male infertility were multi-factoral.
“It was usually diagnosed on the basis of abnormal semen values observed in conventional semen analysis.
“Hormonal disturbances, environmental factors such as diet and toxic elements, genetic aberrations, improper medical waste disposal by healthcare workers, can lead to infertility,’’ the experts said.
Akinloye, therefore, urged governments at all levels and health workers to work as a team to ensure that waste generated at the health facilities were properly disposed, to reduce human exposure to its dangers.
He said that good human resources, power supply and good policies would improve research into the environment, industries and quality of people’s life.