Considerations regarding government funding of assisted reproductive techniques in low-resource settings


infertility, assisted reproduction, developing countries, cost, access to treatment


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Bioethics Institute Ghent, Ghent University, Belgium.

Correspondence at:

Infertility is a common reproductive health problem in developing countries. It is associated with negative psychological and social consequences which exceed­­, both in frequency and intensity, those reported­­ from the Western industrialised world. The resultant demand and need for ART is currently largely unmet as access to available facilities is usually limited to affluent people. In order to motivate governments to allocate scarce public funds to ART, new data are required documenting the impact of infertility­­ on people’s quality of life and allowing comparison with other health conditions. Implementation of ART services must be accompanied by quality control measures and go hand in hand with the delivery of appropriate maternal and neonatal health services. Access to publicly funded ART should be regulated according to fair and transparent criteria.