Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said as many as 300,000 young couples in Malaysia suffer from infertility problems. They are in the 20-40 age group and this could be a leading cause of the country’s declining birth rate.
“According to the Department of Statistics, our birth rate dipped to 19.6 babies per 1,000 persons last year, compared with more than 20 babies per 1,000 the previous year,” Chua said, adding that the World Health Organisation reported in 2002 that infertility affected 80 million people worldwide.
The demand for fertility services in Malaysia would grow as there were now only three public and 20 private centres offering test-tube baby services. [NST]