Infertility in Africa is an under observed, but significant health issue. Dimbayaa, a group of fertility professionals based in the Gambia and Holland, seeks to raise awareness for this problem.
We strive to promote fertility awareness and development within West Africa, and to help make infertility care in all its aspects; education, prevention as well as adequate diagnosis and treatment available and accessible for people in Africa.
We aim to provide for:
- Awareness – Infertility is neglected health issue in Africa
- Education – Demystifying the causes of infertility
- Prevention – Early diagnosis and treatment of infections that can cause infertility
- Support – For individuals struggling with infertility
- Diagnosis and Treatment – Available and affordable for all
In Africa, the private agony of childlessness is compounded by social stigma that can have serious and far-reaching consequences, particularly for women.
In the absence of social security systems, people in Africa are often economically dependent on their children. Not having children means an uncertain financial future.
As pregnancy and child birth are manifested in the woman, infertility is often assumed to be a women’s problem, even though male infertility has been found to be the cause, or contributing factor of a couple’s failure to conceive in up to 50% of cases. The social burden therefore, falls disproportionately on women.
Childless women are often blamed and suffer from stigma, discrimination and even violence. The man may divorce her or, if their culture permits polygamy, take another wife. She may be seen as a curse, and banned from any community- and family activities. Facing social isolation and ostracism, childless women often consider that, without children, their lives are without purpose and without hope.
Unlike the Western world, where infertility is openly discussed and help and information is widely available, in most African societies the topic is taboo. Seeking fertility care often means a lonely path for women wishing to conceive.
Dimbayaa, a loose collective of fertility professionals based in the Gambia and Holland, seeks to raise awareness for the problem of infertility in Africa.
At Africmed Clinical Services in Brusubi, the Gambia we developed a program for infertility care. We provide for counseling, standardized diagnosis and treatment; currently being OVI (ovulation induction) and IUI (intra uterine insemination). In the near future we hope to expand these services to cryopreservation (freezing) of semen and low cost IVF.
We aim to develop outreach programs on infertility awareness and prevention in the form of educational programs combined with low threshold mobile clinics, both in urban and rural areas.
We strive to strengthen fertility awareness and care throughout the Gambia and West Africa, through advocacy and networking and promoting research.