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Behind India’s booming population is another story: declining fertility rates and desperate couples. Urban Indian fertility is now at levels seen in developed countries and in some places among the lowest in the world.

Now to tackle this problem, two former students from KEM Hospital will be establishing an IVF centre. This will be beneficial in helping infertile couples who are poor.

IVF specialists Dr. Anjali and Dr. Aniruddha Malpani, alumni of G.S. Medical College attached to KEM Hospital, will contribute 1 crore to set up the facility and fund IVF cycles.

Dr Anjali said, “KEM is our alma mater and we always wanted to give something back. We have signed an MoU with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to set up the facility. Space for the facility has been identified.”

She added, “In 1986, we were students at G.S. Medical College, we used to read books related to IVF as it was a foreign procedure at the time.”

According to the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, infertility currently affects about 10 to 14 per cent of the Indian population, with higher rates in urban areas where one out of six couples is impacted. Nearly 27.5 million couples actively trying to conceive suffer from infertility in India.

She stated, “We wanted our knowledge and expertise to be useful to people at the grassroots level. Currently, IVF is available in private hospitals but people cannot afford it as it costs Rs 2-3 lakhs for the first cycle. We wanted to provide this service at a civic hospital. And help poor women conceive. Soon, we will start this clinic.”

KEM Hospital has been cooperative and have entered into a tied-up with the couple. 75 lakhs to 1 crore will be spent to establish this centre. And each year, Dr Anjali and Aniruddha will provide 50 lakhs to this centre. The first cycle of IVF treatment will be free of costs for the patients.

A few years after the first test-tube baby was born at the hospital in 1986, the facility was shut down due to the huge costs involved. With the new facility, KEM Hospital will be the only public hospital to offer IVF treatment.

“It is perhaps the first time that a public hospital will have a clinic-cum-unit to offer IVF treatment. The ex-students have taken a lot of efforts to provide patients IVF treatment at an affordable rate,” said KEM Hospital dean Dr Hemant Deshmukh.

How does IVF work?

IVF stands for in vitro fertilization. It’s one of the more widely known types of assisted reproductive technology (ART). IVF works by using a combination of medicines and surgical procedures to help sperm fertilise an egg, and help the fertilized egg implant in your uterus.

IVF has many steps, and it takes several months to complete the whole process. It sometimes works on the first try, but many people need more than 1 round of IVF to get pregnant. IVF definitely increases your chances of pregnancy if you’re having fertility problems, but there’s no guarantee – everyone’s body is different and IVF won’t work for everyone

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