The House of Representatives yesterday directed its Committee on Health to investigate unethical and exploitative practices in egg procurement and surrogacy by fertility hospitals and clinics in the country.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos) who noted that Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) and referrals to fertility centred has witnessed a surge in Nigeria in recent years.
He said, “Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures entail the surgical extraction of eggs from a woman’s ovaries, their fusion with sperm in laboratory settings, and subsequent reintegration into the donor’s body or transfer to another woman or storage in an egg bank;
“These women undergo the surgical egg retrieval, relinquishing control over the eggs obtained. They are typically remunerated between N100,000 to N150,000 per retrieval, with as many as five to six eggs potentially extracted per month”.
He said due to the absence of a suitable regulatory framework, fertility centres exploited providers/donors and potentially engaged in the trade of donated eggs.
He said, “If this trend is not checked immediately, there’s possibility of a sharp rise in cases of infertility and cancer infections on the part of the young donors and surrogates as well as promoting the exploitative practices involved”.
The House mandated the committee to produce a comprehensive framework for regulating egg procurement and transfer services in Nigeria.
The committee is also to ensure informed consent, appropriate compensation and safeguarding the well-being of providers/donors.