Worldwide more than 80 million couples suffer from infertility; the majority of this population is resident of third world countries (Fathalla, 1992). New reproductive technologies are unavailable, scarcely available or very costly in so far that the large majority of the population cannot afford infertility treatment at all (Van Balen and Gerrits, 2001). After a fascinating period of more than 25 years of IVF, we must admit that only a small part of the world population benefits from these new reproductive technologies. The Task Force Developing Countries and Infertility aims to raise awareness surrounding the problem of childlessness in resource-poor countries and to make infertility care in all its aspects, including assisted reproductive technologies, available and accessible for a much larger part of the population.Optimizing a concurrent infertility treatment-, family planning- and perinatal care- programme is probably one of the most important challenges for third world countries in the near future.
The ultimate goal of the Task Force is to work towards a world with less suffering caused by infertility. In order to do this the following objectives were set out from the very beginning:
1. To raise awareness surrounding the problem of childlessness in resource-poor countries within
• The donor community, politicians, funding agencies and research organisations through lobbying and publishing.• The general population through information, education and counselling on infertility and its consequences.
2. To study the ethical, socio-cultural and economical aspects of childlessness and infertility care in resource-poor countries
3. To make infertility diagnosis and infertility treatment including assisted reproductive technologies available and accessible for a much larger part of the population, by
• Simplifying the diagnostic procedures.• Simplifying and modifying the ovarian stimulation protocols and the IVF procedures.
4. To work together with other organisations and societies working in the field of reproductive health to reach the goal of “global access to infertility care”
In 2010 a foundation was established named “The Walking Egg” (http://thewalkingegg.com/) to cooperate with the Task force in establishing accessible and affordable infertility programmes in developing countries.
Willem OmbeletGenk Institute for Fertility Technology, Genk, BelgiumE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Geeta NargundSt. Georges Hospital & Medical School, London, UKE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rudi CampoGenk Institute for Fertility Technology, Genk, BelgiumE-mail: email@example.com
Carin HuyserReproductive and Endocrine UnitDepartment of Obstetrics and GynaecologySteve Biko Academic Hospital, University of Pretoria, South AfricaE-mail: Carin.Huyser@up.ac.za
Hassan SallamDepartment of Obstetrics and GynaecologyUniversity of Alexandria, EgyptE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Frank Van BalenDept of Education, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands E-mail: F.vanBalen@uva.nl
Jonathan Van BlerkomDepartment of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental BiologyThe University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA E-mail: Jonathan.Vanblerkom@Colorado.edu
Fertility Preservation in Severe Diseases
Developing Countries and Infertility
Cross-border Reproductive Care
Fertility and Viral Diseases
Basic Scientists in Reproductive Medicine
Reproduction and Society
Management of Fertility Units