Biomedical infertility care in sub-Saharan Africa: a social science-- review of current practices, experiences and view points

T Gerrits, M Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Some sort of infertility treatments, including the use of advanced reproductive technologies (ARTs), is nowadays provided at several places in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, to date only a few studies have actually looked into the way these treatments are offered, used and experienced. In this review article the authors present and discuss empirical study findings that give insight into the way biomedical infertility care is provided, considered, experienced and/or used in sub-Saharan African countries. They concentrate on four themes that were often referred to in the reviewed studies and underline the importance of taking into account the local sociocultural context and notions when developing and implementing infertility care, namely: counselling, male involvement, acceptability of ARTs and the use of donor material (semen and embryos). In the conclusion the authors emphasize the importance of preventing infertility as part of integrated reproductive health programs and the need to improve the quality of (low tech) infertility care in the public health sector by means of standardized guidelines, training of health staff and improved counselling. In addition, from a reproductive rights perspective, they support initiatives to introduce low cost ARTs to treat tubal factor related infertility. They also point to potential unintended side effects of the introduction of ARTs and the use of donor material in the sub-Saharan African context, affecting gender inequity and inequity between citizens from different social classes, and argue that such effects should be acknowledged and avoided by all possible means. Finally, they present an agenda for future social science research on this topic in sub-Saharan Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-207
Number of pages14
JournalFacts, views & vision in ObGyn
Volume2
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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Social Sciences
Africa South of the Sahara
Infertility
Reproductive Techniques
Counseling
Tissue Donors
Reproductive Rights
Public Sector
Reproductive Health
Social Class
Embryonic Structures
Public Health
Guidelines
Costs and Cost Analysis
Health
Therapeutics
Research

Cite this

Biomedical infertility care in sub-Saharan Africa : a social science-- review of current practices, experiences and view points. / Gerrits, T; Shaw, M.

In: Facts, views & vision in ObGyn, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2010, p. 194-207.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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