H. van Zandvoort
K. de Koning
- Viewpoint: medical infertility care in low income countries: the case for concern in policy and practice
- Tropical Medicine & International Health
- Volume | Issue number
- 6 | 7
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Based on published, 'grey' and anecdotal information, this paper explores some aspects of
infertility, its medical treatment and their burden in poor countries. Many cases of infertility result from sexually transmitted infections (STI) and unsafe abortion and there is no doubt that their
prevention and adequate treatment are of utmost importance, especially as effective infertility
treatment, if any, comes at a high price for the consumer, materially as well as physically. Medical infertility interventions are apt to fail a free market of provision because of major information asymmetry. This renders patients in low- resource countries prone to exploitation, potentially damaging practices and waste of their savings. The authors argue that in countries struggling with limited funds and a range of pressing public health problems, public investment in infertility treatment should not have priority. But governments should take an active role in quality control and regulation of treatment practice, as well as invest in counseling skills for lower-level reproductive health staff to achieve rational referral of patients.
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