KOLKATA: Childless couples from low-income groups can now taste the joys of parenthood through a Rs. 5,000 package being offered by an institute here.
Infertility specialist and director of the Institute of Human Reproduction, M.L. Goenka, said a test-tube baby could be made a reality for people in the low-income group at a discounted rate.
Dr. Goenka said infertility among men and women is on the rise due to changing lifestyle patterns. Lack of exercise, unhealthy diets and late marriages are also causing infertility.
“Doctors at government hospitals often refer such cases to the IHR and we try to help them conceive through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). “Started eight months back, these cases are funded by the IHR-IVF Trust,” he told reporters, following an infertility and gynaecological endoscopy workshop aimed to make laparoscopic surgery and test-tube babies within the reach of the common people.
Normally, IVF treatment at the IHR costs Rs. 60,000, but “the institute discounts the price for people whose monthly income is less than Rs. 1,500,” Dr. Goenka said. He said often affluent patients make donations to the Trust for the treatment of the poor people.
He, however, regretted that, due to paucity of funds “we are not always able to help all such patients.” He said: “This is the reason for IHR not publicising this service on a large-scale, because we might not be able to attend to all.” He said unlike those from the affluent classes, people coming from a poor background often have chronic health problems such as tuberculosis and anaemia, which are the causes for infertility amongst them.
6 months ago