Forty couples have been selected as recipients of the In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) grants worth about N100m by the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation (IIF) through its Project 40at40 in accordance with the wishes of the late founder, Mrs. Ibidunni Ighodalo.
This was announced at a breakfast held in Victoria Island Lagos on Friday to honour the 40 recipients who made it out of the 1,500 couples who applied.
Project 40at40, which was launched on July 19 this year, targeted at easing the burden of parents in need of assisted reproduction IVF and other fertility treatments but are financially incapable.
During the session, the Chairman of the foundation, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, revealed that with the 1,500 applications were received, it confirms the urgent need for intervention in this regard.
“This is what prompted Ibidunni to set up this foundation; the large number of people going through fertility-related challenges, and the fact that treatments are usually in the millions, which many cannot afford,” the chairman emphasised.
He, however, hinted, “We still have a nine-month-journey, and everyday of that journey is very important. So, I need to meet with them in my prayer room on a regular basis for God to do what he needs to do.”
Speaking, the pastor reminisced about his late wife, the founder of the foundation. “Then a little change of gentle sadness because I wish my wife was here. We miss her very much. I miss her in particular. I think of her everyday. But I’m glad because I know she’s in heaven, smiling and looking down at us.”
Part of the criteria, according to the chairman, “You have to be married for about five years and had no child. We were looking for indigent people but also people who could afford to look after a baby if the baby was born. We tried to select by age. Slightly more older people were given a bit more consideration. Coming down to 40 was very tough.”
“We distributed them to six hospitals to take care of them,” he noted while clarifying that as an annual project, they may not do 40 but “we will do as many couples as we can each year.”
“That’s what we have always done – between 10 and 12. Ibidunni has other projects like Baby’s Day Out – where we go look for indigent mothers and their babies to provide for them; we visit hospitals to bless the new babies that are born especially in the New Year. I’m hoping that by God’s grace we will open a mother and child centre in Ibidunni’s name,” Ighodalo said.
The beneficiaries are from all over Nigeria. For now, IIF does the treatment in Lagos. Couples can go back and do their antenatal wherever they are from.
He listed, “I’m sure there are people here from Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna, Ogun states among others.”
Giving a rough estimate, the chairman said, “We expect that we will go through about N100 million in doing this because the average treatment we are doing here is about N1.4m.
“If they need an egg donor or this and that then it goes up to about N1.8m. Aside from that there are others tests they need to do that we need to support them with, that’s spending about N2m on each couple. We already spent almost N10m on them in getting the test done.”
While thanking all well-meaning Nigerians and Corporate bodies that donated towards this cause, Ighodalo on behalf of the foundation beckoned on others to keep the donation coming, in order to help bring the dreams of couples to life.
In her remarks, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Ms. Adedayo Richards, acknowledged the patience of the awardees through the selection process, thanking them for applying and thereby making the founder’s dream come alive.
“The 40 couples selected will now begin their process of assisted reproduction, IVF and other fertility treatments, sponsored by the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation,” she announced.
The IIF is a non-profit organisation created to raise awareness on issues pertaining to infertility and to provide grants for couples that require fertility treatments such as IVF and intrauterine insemination.
The foundation partners highly reputable fertility clinics in Nigeria and with other donors to provide couples with the financial and material support they require during the treatment.
They also provide the necessary psychological and spiritual support that couples require to deal with the pressures faced during the journey to conception.Follow us on social media