Dr Wanjiru Ndegwa Njuguna, 39

Founder

Footsteps To Fertility Center
My Story,

Helping couples become parents

In 2015, Dr Wanjiru became the only woman to solely own a fertility centre in Africa.

In this neck of the woods, conception and children are largely left to God’s discretion and, as such, infertility and consequently In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) remain prickly subjects because fertility treatment is seen as trying to “play God”.

This, however, is the horse Dr Wanjiru chose to back.

“We are fighting stigma around infertility, stigma and cultural challenges,” says Dr Wanjiru who has a Master of Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

"We are fighting stigma around infertility, stigma and cultural challenges... There is a feeling that we are interfering with the divine process""

“There is a feeling that we are interfering with the divine process.

There are people who want to have a natural conception; fathers who don’t feel like real fathers as a result.

People who say because I ‘make babies in the laboratory’ I will burn in hell. But we are not playing God, we are not making babies, we are merely facilitating conception,” she says.

The doctor says she is highly religious and before embarking on this calling, and after much prayer and deliberation, marked with questions about ethics, God eventually showed her the way.

Currently, her clinic sees about 100 patients every month and she is determined to make sure that every couple realises their dream of having a child while also supporting others in dealing with the cultural and social stigma arising from childlessness.

Now, her team is trying to crack one the biggest questions around assisted fertility; why don’t some IVF cycles work?

How can you have a very good egg and a very good sperm, have a very lovely embryo and then put it in a very beautiful uterus, and it doesn’t work?

“We are researching vehemently and trying to help these couples find the joy they are looking for,” says the mother of two boys, who loves bungee diving, skydiving and anything that evokes a heightened heartbeat.

 

–Jackson Biko