One in six people affected by infertility globally- WHO

One in six people affected by infertility globally- WHO

One in six people, according to a WHO report, is affected by infertility globally, indicating a drop in reproduction rate.

The report also found little difference in rates across high, middle and countries.

Infertility, according to the WHO, is a failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sex.

The proportion of adults affected by infertility during their lives is 17.8% in high-income countries and 16.5% in low and middle-income ones, according to the organization.

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“The report reveals an important truth – infertility does not discriminate,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “The sheer proportion of people affected shows the need to widen access to fertility care and ensure this issue is no longer sidelined in health research and policy, so that safe, effective and affordable ways to attain parenthood are available.”

WHO says in most countries, fertility treatment is financed by individuals rather than government health services, which can result in financial difficulties for many.

“Better policies and public financing can significantly improve access to treatment and protect poorer households from falling into poverty as a result,” Dr Allotey insisted.

Apart from financial hardship, WHO stressed that infertility is also linked to “distress and stigma”, as well as an increased risk of intimate partner violence.

The global health body then called for better access to fertility care in countries across the world in order to address the challenge of infertility.

The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, it has six regional offices and 150 field offices worldwide. The WHO was established on 7 April 1948.

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