In Pakistan, over 1,000 babies have successfully been delivered using the IVF (Test Tube Baby) treatment technology since its launch in 1984. This was stated by IVF treatment pioneer in Pakistan Prof Rashid Latif Khan while speaking at the silver jubilee celebrations of the IVF programme.
Prof Khan said the first IVF baby of the world was delivered in England in July 1978, while the first baby in Pakistan was delivered in 1989. ‘It was a great scientific breakthrough in South East Asian region because neighboring countries achieved success in this technology after Pakistan,’ he said.
All over the world, he said, nearly 15-20 per cent couples remain infertile and they have to seek medical help for conception. Prior to IVF (1978), most of the couples, especially when wife had blocked tube or husband had poor semen parameters, could not conceive.
‘In the beginning, the IVF was a treatment for blocked tubes but now it is even helpful for couples where husband is responsible. With this modern technology more than 80 per cent infertile couples can be helped,’ Prof Khan said.
Ever since its inception, the IVF programme had made success progressively and maintained the leadership in terms of advanced technology and success rates in the region, he added.
In Pakistan, Prof Khan said, there were some 10 clinics in three big cities where this technology was helping infertile couples. In developed countries, there is one IVF clinic for a one million population. Therefore, Pakistan required at least 100 more clinics to cope with the needs of people. ‘In Pakistan, the usage of IVF technology is strictly a husband and wife affair,’ he said.
Referring to training programme and satellite clinics, Prof Khan said the Lahore Institute of Fertility and Endocrinology (LIFE) was training gynecologists and technologists from all over Pakistan in this technology. He said the LIFE was also setting up satellite clinics in different parts of the country, which would provide quality treatment to patients as well as promote awareness amongst the community.
Prof Khan said, LIFE was also planning to launch a diploma course in IVF, which would be affiliated with one of the government institutes. He said the diploma course would provide comprehensive training in assisted reproduction techniques. Journalist Jugnu Mohsin, Dr Attiya Inayatullah, Prof Saqib Siddiq and Dr Haroon Latif Khan also spoke on the occasion.