Fertility Europe participated in WHO “Global Summit on Safety and Access to Fertility Care” 5-6 December 2018. Only three patient NGOs were present: Resolve from US, Fertility Europe and Dimbayaa from Gambia. Our representative was Anna Krawczak from our member association Nasz Bocian, Poland.
The meeting was dedicated to global fertility issues and it was aimed at generating draft ‘Call to action” from a global perspective. For the very first time representatives of developing countries were invited to participate and contribute, so we had an opportunity to get an insight into situation of Rwanda, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan and others.
The global problems are: low access (or the lack of the access) to MAR, lack of the basic medical equipment to diagnose infertility, lack of the national plans on infertility treatment (or even lack of the political will to consider infertility as serious problem for citizens and as a disease) but also – in case of developed countries – over-diagnosing infertility in order to refer a couple/a person to expensive and invasive treatment with costly ‘add-ons’ with no proven efficiency.
Anna Krawczak was asked by Thabo Matsaseng (from Department of Reproductive Care and Research, WHO) to present short summary of “Organization’s programs towards improving access to infertility services including awareness initiatives” and ” Challenges and opportunities when advocating for infertility and fertility care – unique individual organization’s experiences”. She therefore presented EPAF project (European Policy Audit on Fertility), European Fertility Week and hinted at our brand new initiative regarding awareness program.
Adding to the regular subject of the inequality of access to treatment in European countries due to the regulation and underfunding, Anna spoke on the stigmatising language (“artificial insemination”, “natural pregnancy”) and its impact on the perception of the infertility treatment and the children conceived thanks to MAR and called on behalf of FE to remove such terms from the guidelines and official documents. This point has been included into final draft.
More about work of WHO on fertility and infertility here.