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4 infertile couples to benefit from assisted reproductive grant

by Staff reporter
22 Mar 2019 at 22:45hrs | Views
FOUR couples from different parts of the country who are struggling to conceive have been selected to benefit from a USD$17 000 grant availed by America-based Kiri na Kiri Fertility Assistance Foundation.

The foundation partnered with the Bulawayo Assisted Reproductive Technology (BART) centre run by prominent gynaecologist  Dr Jephat Moyo to offer financial assistance to couples faced with infertility.

The grant will be shared among the beneficiaries, who will go through Invitro fertilisation (IVF), which is the most common and effective type of assisted reproductive technology to help women become pregnant.

The IVF procedure involves fertilising an egg outside the body, in a laboratory dish and then implanting it in a woman's uterus.

Kiri na Kiri foundation is headed by a Bulawayo-born woman Mrs Christine Munyenyiwa Coughlan and her husband Chris Coughlan who successfully used the IVF method, having failed to conceive for close to a decade.

Interested couples were invited to apply through the Kiri na Kiri foundation website. In an interview yesterday, Mrs Coughlan said the foundation had initially planned to start with two couples next month but increased the number to four following an overwhelming response from all over the country.

"We had 48 applications that were all touching and it was difficult to decide. The board, committee and advisory council went through three rounds of the selection process for over 72 hours with a fair and detailed score sheet with no names.  

"We decided to increase the number from the initial two to four for the inaugural grand awards in April after reading the heart-breaking testimonies of those on this heart wrenching fertility journey," said Mrs Coughlan.

She said Kiri na Kiri Foundation then received the final seven couples and consulted doctors before selecting the final grant recipients. Two of the couples are from Bulawayo while the other two are from Harare and Victoria Falls. A gala to launch the inaugural grant will be held in Victoria Falls on March 30, with more couples expected to benefit every year.

Mrs Coughlan urged applicants who did not make it not to lose hope but to continue applying until they make it.

"The high number of applicants has made us realise that this grant is a much needed initiative in Zimbabwe. It's therefore our promise to ensure that we fundraise more money and have the opportunity for more grants in future," she said.  

Mrs Coughlan said she was inspired to help couples struggling to conceive after she and her husband spent a number of years trying to conceive.

"Apart from opening up about our pain, my husband and I felt that we needed to start a foundation to help others. We have set aside the grant where the selected four families will in April 2019 directly benefit from Kiri na Kiri. The grants will go towards the payment of the IVF services to be offered at the BART centre in Bulawayo," she said.

The grant beneficiaries will get one free IVF cycle including medication, two pre-natal massages for the expecting mothers during pregnancy and monthly pre-natal vitamins. The package also includes free counselling from professional counsellors before and during treatment and pregnancy, a monthly fruit and vegetable basket, baby care package with clothes, toys and three months supply of diapers and wipes after baby's arrival, a free diaper bag and a pram for the baby.

Source - chronicle