New York, November 11, 2014 -- The Low Cost IVF-technique developed by researchers of the University of Colorado, Hasselt University and the ZOL Hospitals in Genk (Belgium) has just been awarded ‘The Best of What’s New Award’ from Popular Science Magazine in the health category. The study is part of the Walking Egg Project, an international project aiming to raise awareness surrounding childlessness in resource-poor countries.
American and Belgian researchers developed a low cost IVF-system based on an embryo culture method which avoids the need for an expensive IVF-laboratory with CO2-incubators, medical gas supply and air purification systems. By using this simplified method, successful outcomes can be obtained at levels that compare favourably to those in high resource settings. Up to now, 17 healthy babies have been born after using this new method of IVF-culturing. The estimated cost of this simplified system is between 15% and 20% of current costs in regular IVF programs
“We are very happy to receive this award,” says prof. dr. Willem Ombelet of The Walking Egg. “Infertility care is probably the most neglected healthcare problem of developing countries, affecting more than 200 million couples according to the WHO. The consequences of involuntary childlessness can create more wide ranging societal problems compared to Western societies, especially for women. Because many families in developing countries entirely depend on children for economic survival, childlessness is a social and public health issue.”
About ‘The Best of What’s New Award’
Each year, the editors of Popular Sciencereview thousands of products in search of the top 100 tech innovations of the year; breakthrough products and technologies that represent a significant leap in their categories. The winners — the Best of What's New — are awarded inclusion in the December issue of Popular Science.
“For 27 years, Popular Science has honored the innovations that surprise and amaze us − those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our view of what’s possible in the future,” said Cliff Ransom, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Science. “The Best of What’s New Award is the magazine’s top honor, and the 100 winners − chosen from among thousands of entrants − each a revolution in its field.”
About ‘The Walking Egg’
The Walking Egg Project is an international project aiming to raise awareness surrounding childlessness in resource-poor countries and to make infertility care in all its aspects, including assisted reproductive technologies, affordable and accessible for a much larger proportion of the world population.
The implementation of low-cost infertility centres in resource poor countries, if possible integrated in existing Reproductive Health Care Centres, will be the next step to achieve the ultimate goal of ‘universal access to infertility care’.
In corporation with ESHRE (European Society of Human reproduction and Embryology) and WHO (World Health Organisation), The Walking Egg gathers medical, social and economical scientists and experts along with an artist to discuss and work together towards their goal.
They aim to strengthen infertility care through innovation and research, advocacy and networking, training and capacity building, and service delivery.
Prof. dr. Willem Ombelet (ZOL/UHasselt)
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