• May 27, 2021 . 3 min Read
  • Many women seeking sperm from intelligent men

Many women seeking sperm from intelligent men
Violet Nabatanzi
Journalist @New Vision

The demand for sperm from ‘intelligent’ donors is increasing among women in Uganda.

Prof. Moses Joloba, the Dean Makerere University School of Biomedical Sciences, said some women get donor sperms because they do not want to get married, but want children and, therefore, it is easy for them to walk in and select what type of sperms they want.

He, however, said the biggest clients are those who have a problem of infertility and other reproductive challenges.

The sperms are from different donors.

“We are increasingly seeing ladies who are looking for a certain profile in men. We are also seeing young people who go to serve as soldiers and keep their sperms in the biobank,” Joloba added.

He was speaking during the open day for Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at Makerere University College of Health Sciences on Tuesday.

Presenting his research on ‘Advancing Tissue and Organ Biobanking in Uganda’, Joloba explained that through their website and leaflets, they invite sperm donors and those who are willing to donate are screened for different diseases and submit their profiles. The data enables a recipient to search for the sperm of their choice.

He revealed that some women describe the category of the children they want through their database.

“Some women do not come to us; they can just access the catalogue and look at the profiles of the donors and if they have questions, they ask through online and then they are profiled and matched with the right donor,” Joloba explained.

In Uganda, there are a few health facilities offering in vitro fertilisation (IVF), a type of assistive reproductive technology (ART) that involves retrieving eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilising them with sperm.

This embryo (fertilised egg) can then be frozen for storage or transferred to a woman’s uterus.

The sperms can be stored for decades. Research shows that ages 18 to 30 is the best reproductive time for both male and females. The older one gets, the more likely that their children will have genetic defects.

Joloba further explained that they had started tissue and organ bio-banking and also transplanting. He added that there was a need to standardise and have a quality facility so that people can start receiving the tissues and organs whose quality they are sure of.

Joloba said they needed $100m (about sh350b) to set up high-tech tissue and organ biobank at the university. He said although the possibilities of people donating organs are many, they are currently operating in a small room at the Makerere University Hospital.

He said they needed an expanded infrastructure where they can keep the tissues and organs to allow more recipients access to the services.

Human tissue and organ biobanking and transplantation technology is embraced and regulated in the western world. Most African countries are yet to embrace the technology.

Uganda is yet to have a law regulating the technology.

The Uganda Human Organ Donation and Tissue Transplant Bill 2020 was approved by Cabinet, but it is yet to be passed.

Other research papers

During the open day, other research presentations were delivered, including one on the development of an open design low-cost ventilator in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The other was about a model health system strengthening strategy for reducing malaria deaths in Uganda.

Dr Arthur Mpimbaza, a lecturer at Makerere University Child Health and Development Centre, while presenting a study on the model health system strengthening strategy, called for an improved healthcare system that would ensure no child dies of malaria.

In Uganda, malaria accounts for 20 to 40% of outpatient department visits in public health facilities, and about 20% of children die in the health facilities.

Malaria is the leading cause of child death. Mpimbaza said: “There is no way we can transform into a middle-income status country when we have children dying of malaria.”

Prof. William Bazeyo, the chairperson of MAK-RIF, said the Government has allocated another sh30b for research and innovations at the university.

He said about 500 research applications are in the vetting process.

Bazeyo said for the last two years, the Government has allocated sh60b for research.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the vice-chancellor of Makerere University, said in 2017, the university research budget was at sh90b and currently, it stands at over sh300b. He added that the total number of publications in peer-reviewed journals has shot from 400 in 2017 to 1500.

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