Against the backdrop of the ongoing research, spermaSORT Hb-A condom for sorting preferential fertilisation in ‘AS’ couple, reproductive health experts have given various reactions.
Chief Medical Director, Medical Art Centre and Mart Medicare, Lagos, Professor Oladapo Ashiru said it only becomes an invention for use after such is well studied and published in peer review journals.
According to him, “such a science is yet to be published and until it is published in international peer review journals, it should not be given credence to in order not to confuse people.”
Meanwhile, Dr Abayomi Ajayi, also a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and the Managing director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, said that although science is moving on, he doubted if a condom would be able to sort out a sperm that bears the sickle cell trait.
According to him, “Transmission of sickle cell disease is by a single gene mutation and as such that there is a condom that would be able to sort out sperms that would bear sickle cell disease from the multitude is very remote.”
Given the Nigeria’s large number of people living with sickle cell disease and the importance of such a research, he declared, “people should also go to the internet and see if there is anything like that in the offering.”
Also reacting to the research, a fertility expert, Dr Tayo Abiara, of the Bridge Clinic, Lagos said “Science has done a lot with chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis. However, if the unborn child is affected, the parents have to decide to have a termination or face having a child affected with sickle cell disease.”
The expert assured that pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has increased hope of AS couples having babies without SCD, especially now in Nigeria.
Given that PGD is expensive and the couple have to go through assisted reproductive techniques to achieve it, she declared spermaSORT to be worth researching into since it is likely going to be less expensive and will make the conception process closer to natural.
However, before it can be introduced into clinical practice, she said a lot of research has to be done to guarantee its effectiveness, safety and efficiency.
Abiara declared “Medical research takes time and money, but it is indeed worth doing. More so, a young Nigerian has studied and thought of this admirable and needed technology especially in this part of the world.”