Dr. Hamisu Salihu and collegues publish article on the perception of infertility

| Epidemiology, Monday Letter, Our Research

Public health researcher Hamisu Salihu, MD, PhD is co-author on a publication entitled “Perception of infertility and acceptability of assisted reproduction technology in northern Nigeria.”  The study is in the October issue of the Nigerian Journal of Medicine.

Hamisu Salihu 2

Dr. Salihu, a professor of epidemiology, directs the USF College of Public Health’s Occupational Medicine Residency Program and the Center for Research and Evaluation for the Lawton & Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies. His academic home is the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  The department offers concentrations in epidemiology that lead to MPH, MSPH, and PhD degrees, as well several dual degrees, graduate certificates, and special programs. Most recently, the department added an online master of public health degree in epidemiology to its academic offerings.

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Niger J Med. 2013 Oct-Dec;22(4):341-7.

Perception of infertility and acceptability of assisted reproduction technology in northern Nigeria.

Iliyasu Z, Galadanci HS, Abubakar IS, Bashir FM, Salihu HM, Aliyu MH.


Department of Community Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital & Bayero University Kano, Nigeria. ziliyasu@yahoo.com



Infertility is a stigmatized reproductive morbidity with severe psycho-social consequences, especially in developing countries. There has been little exploration of the public view of infertility and acceptance of assisted reproduction in these countries, including Nigeria.


To determine the public perception of infertility, its causes and factors associated with acceptability of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) in Kano, Northern Nigeria.


Using interviewer administered questionnaires, a cross-section of 600 adults were interviewed about perceived definition, causes and acceptance of ART.


Majority of the respondents (n = 577, 99.3%) perceived infertility as a disease. Only 18.1% (n = 105) of the respondents would consider a couple infertile after one year of marriage. Causes of infertility mentioned by participants included paranormal events (n = 535, 92.1%), suprapubic pain (n = 321, 55.2%), induced abortion (n = 187, 32.2%) and sexually transmitted infections (n = 177, 30.5%). A minority of respondents (n = 161,27.7%) of participants mentioned blocked tubes and 24.6% (n = 143) irregular menstrual cycles. Although 36.1% of respondents were aware of ART; only 7.6% were willing to accept it. Being male [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) (95% CI)] 2.1 (1.55.72), childless [AOR (95% CI)] 2.2 (1.35.95), highly educated [AOR (95% CI)] 3.2 (1.326.72) and non-Muslim [AOR (95% CI)] 2.3 (1.23.76) were significant predictors of acceptance of ART.


Infertility was correctly perceived as a disease, but there were misconceptions about its causes. The low acceptance of ART was influenced by socio-demographic factors. There is a need for sustained targeted information, education and communication regarding new reproductive technologies for fertility management.



[PubMed – in process]