The facility being set up by Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi’s largest private tertiary care hospital, in partnership with Centre for Reproductive Medicine, University Hospital Brussels – a centre that has been at the forefront of innovation in reproductive medicine and techniques for over 25 years.
The centre at Burjeel Hospital will be managed by a clinical team from CRG, Brussels and will have a state of the art laboratory, offering the latest solutions in reproductive medicine.
With the opening of the centre, couples from the UAE and the region who had to travel to far off countries looking for advanced fertility treatment, can now get access to such services right here in the region. Currently, a major portion of GCC couples seeking good fertility services are travelling to countries in Europe where such advanced facilities are available.
“We are happy to partner with University Hospital Brussels to open this modern IVF centre in Burjeel Hospital to meet the growing demand for fertility services in the UAE. At Burjeel, we are committed to provide high quality and most advanced medical solutions, not only to residents of UAE but the entire Middle East region. With a world renowned clinical team and the very latest state-of-the-art laboratory the IVF services at Burjeel are sure to match the best success standards available in the world,” said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, Managing Director of Burjeel Hospital.
According to DHA, it is estimated that more than 100,000 people in the UAE may be facing infertility related issues. This makes up 2.2% of about 4.48 million residents (excluding labors and construction workers). This highlights the need for setting up adequate treatment facilities in the country. Out of the 4.48 million population, 50,223 women are estimated to be infertile.
The IVF centre at Burjeel Hospital will provide comprehensive medical assistance that is not just limited to IVF or other fertility techniques. The centre will also provide services related to reproductive complications such as repeated miscarriages, hereditary defects of the parents (or one parent), high incidence of twins or triplets etc.
“Increasing prevalence of infertility cases is a major concern in the GCC. As a specialized centre in reproductive health, the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at the University Hospital Brussels has performed groundbreaking work in the development of reproductive techniques and their application. We have a full-fledged team of experts here at the IVF centre in Burjeel Hospital to provide the latest treatments available in reproductive medicine,” said Prof. Dr Human Fatemi, Senior Medical Director of the Centre for Reproductive Medicine, University Hospital Brussels, who will be leading the IVF team at Burjeel Hospital.
“From the path breaking ICSI technique of fertilization in 1992, CSG, University of Brussels has been at the forefront of innovation in reproductive medicine. We are excited to share our expertise and experience of over 15,000 babies being born, so that many more couples can benefit from our success in the area of reproductive medicine. The new IVF centre at Burjeel Hospital will offer almost all the services we offer at our centre at Brussels,” said Marc Noppen, CEO of Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Brussels.
A host of issues ranging from lifestyle factors and eating habits to increasing incidence of obesity and diabetes and medical issues related to the practice of marriages within families have been blamed for the growing prevalence of infertility in the UAE.
While obesity is a major concern among both UAE nationals and white collar expatriates, the high consumption of caffeine in the form of traditional Arabic coffee and all kinds of western coffees as well as soft drinks rich in caffeine is also adding up to the problem.
Infertility is also linked to smoking. Although cigarette smoking is not very popular among UAE women, there is a preference for traditional sheesha. In the case of UAE men, both cigarettes and sheesha are quite popular.
Assuming that white collar expatriates are maintaining their original lifestyles while residing in the UAE, a high percentage of this group too will have one or more of the risks associated with infertility.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), women in the UAE are also conceiving fewer number of babies today compared to 20 years ago. The birth figure was 5.7 children but is now down to two children per woman.
The fertility rate in the UAE, which indicates the total number of births per woman, has fallen from 4.4 in 1990 to 1.75 in 2010, according to a World Bank report published in 2012. Total fertility rate represents the number of children that would be born to a woman if she were to live to the end of her childbearing years and bear children in accordance with current age-specific fertility rates.