(News Investigators)/ Lagos State Government has inaugurated a seven-man committee to monitor, regulate and enforce quality compliance in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) practice in the state.
The Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Health, Titilayo Goncalves, made this known on Sunday in Lagos.
Mr. Goncalves said that inauguration of the committee led by Osato Giwa-Osagie, a professor, was in line with the state government’s commitment to ensure best practices in assisted fertility practice.
According to her, the committee comprises private practitioners in fertility medicine, experts in the public sector, members of AFRH and officials of the State Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA).
“The constitution of the committee is in tandem with our resolve to implement the policy document on ART regulations and practice which we unveiled recently in partnership with Association of Fertility and Reproductive Health (AFRH) and experts in fertility medicine.
“The committee is charged with the onerous task of educating, enlightening and sensitising citizens on ART practice, whilst bringing sanity through monitoring and enforcement compliance to the ART practice in the state.
“The need to protect members of the public from falling prey to quacks who parade themselves as experts in fertility medicine and the need to regulate practice in line with acceptable international best practices prompted state government’s intervention,” she said.
The permanent secretary said the policy document and guidelines of ART practice as well as activities of the committee would go a long way in protecting clients and experts in ART practice.
According to her, it will allay public concerns and help in guiding professional practice in assisted fertility medicine.
She expressed optimism that the development and implementation of ART policy document on practice and regulations would help to eradicate quackery and unprofessional conduct in assisted fertility practice.
“We will intensify awareness and sensitisation campaigns, monitoring and enforcement of regulations in ART practice through this committee and HEFAMAA to ensure citizens do not fall prey to quacks in fertility practice.
“The government, through HEFAMAA and the committee in partnership with AFRH and other professionals and experts in assisted fertility practice, will channel energy to rid the state off quackery.
” It will also rid the state of unregistered and substandard health facilities in ART practices”, Goncalves said.
Also, the Executive Secretary, HEFAMAA, Abiola Idowu, said at the inauguration that the agency, in collaboration with the committee, would ensure best practices in assisted reproductive and fertility practice.
Mr. Idowu said HEFAMAA would also ensure that all facilities operating in the state were duly registered and operated by qualified healthcare providers within the ambit of the law.
“HEFAMAA is known for its tough stance against quackery and unprofessional practices, and in line with our mandates, sanity must return to ART practice.
“I urge all practitioners and healthcare facilities involved in ART practice to register and ensure proper accreditation with HEFAMAA, because it will not be business as usual,” she said.
In his remarks, the committee Chairman, Osato Giwa-Osagie, professor, commended efforts of the state government toward ensuring that strict and effective measures were in place to monitor and regulate activities of ART practice.
‘’It is heartwarming that government, in partnership with AFRH, has picked up the call on regulation of ART practice, especially with the aim of ending quackery practice.
“This shows that government is determined to end quackery and restore sanity to ART practice in the state.
“This committee will ensure that practice of ART will be to the highest possible ethical standard as quackery will not be tolerated under any guise,” Mr. Giwa-Osagie said. (NAN)