The 28 lucky couples will meet with a team of medical experts to ascertain their needs through various tests and assessments.

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In May 2016, the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation gave out a call for couples struggling with infertility issues to apply for the foundation’s grant for fertility treatments.

Infertility, the inability to conceive or produce children, is a growing problem in Nigeria. According to experts 25 percent of Nigerian couples suffer from infertility and 40-45 percent of consultations in gynaecological clinics are infertility related.

As common as the problem is, the Nigerian society still treats infertility like a taboo subject and talks about it in hush-hush tones.

This leaves couples seeking help mostly through traditional and spiritual means and because medical treatment for infertility is very expensive, even couples who are willing to take the treatment may not have the financial means.

Flavour’s new baby

This is what Ibidunni Ighodalo, former beauty queen, wife of popular pastor, Ituah Ighodalo and founder of the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation discovered when she began her own fertility treatments.

Ms Ibidunni Ighodalo, who has been married since 2007, said she is from a family with a line of very fertile women and she didn’t think it would take her this long to start her own family.

When doctors told her she wouldn’t be able to conceive unless she sought treatment through in-vitro fertilization, she soon discovered that the treatments were not only emotionally draining but also very expensive.

It was on one of her visits to the hospital that she met other couples who required just one of the nine treatments she had received to conceive but were held back because they lacked the financial means and fortitude to go through with the fertility treatments.

It was then she resolved to assist other couples who were willing to take fertility treatments with financial aid and emotional support to go through the process. That was how the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation was born.

As common as infertility is, the Nigerian society still treats it like a taboo subject

To kick start work at the foundation, Mrs Ighodalo reached out to fertility clinics with high success rates willing to partner with her to give discounted/ free treatment to couples, she also reached out to organizations willing to give donations to help foot medical bills of the couples.

The announcement of the call for couples seeking fertility treatment to apply for the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation grant was well received. On BellaNaija, one of the media platforms were the announcement was made, the post had so many comments; women applied for themselves, their friends and relatives. They also encouraged other women to apply for the grant and shared their experiences with fertility treatments.

Applications for the first phase of the grant ended in May. In August, Mrs Ighodalo announced that 28 couples had been chosen from different states across the country.

The 28 lucky couples will meet with a team of medical experts to ascertain their needs through various tests and assessments after which payments will be made to the fertility clinics.

If only a few of the couples are eventually able to conceive through Ighodalo’s initiative, it will surely be time and money well spent.

Culled from http://thenet.ng/2016/09/a-former-nigerian-beauty-queen-is-helping-28-couples-hav

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