PETALING JAYA, Nov 8 -- “I am not ashamed to tell or share with the world all the problems and difficulties that I had to have a child.”
Those are the words of Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah when addressing the audience at the grand opening of the Alpha IVF and Women's Specialists centre at Encorp Strand Mall here today.
She said all the pain that she had gone through made her understand other women or other couples’ feeling when they were unable to have their own child and it was that fact that had given her the courage to set up the Tengku Azizah Fertility Foundation (TAFF).
“Now, I must be the only Queen in the world who have four IVF (In vitro fertilisation) babies. I decided to have my own fertility foundation because I wanted to help all those unfortunate ladies and couples out there who could not bear children due to certain medical conditions.
“I know how it felt like when you don't have a child, that stigma that we have about women constantly being blamed (for that situation), but it is actually a matter of gender equality,” she said.
While expressing gratitude that her prayers were answered, Tunku Azizah also offered a salute to all medical teams and doctors for their efforts in introducing the technologies.
Also present at the event were Tengku Puteri Diraja Tengku Puteri Jihan Azizah 'Athiyatullah Al-Sultan Abdullah, as well as Alpha IVF and Women's Specialists founder and managing director Datuk Dr Colin Lee and Malaysian songstress Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin.
The event also saw the fertility centre giving a sponsor of 15 IVF treatment to TAFF.
Meanwhile, at the press conference, Dr Lee said the centre provides Smart IVF programme to help couples from the low-income (B40) group who are having problems to conceive.
“The cost of the programme starts at RM13,888. It is a simplified form of IVF that is effective and has a pregnancy rate of about 50 per cent for those under the age of 35. They can also get help from TAFF," he explained.
Dr Lee said that the more modern the society today, the higher the risk of infertility and difficulties for them to conceive.
In many cases, he said women in urban areas mostly get married after reaching the age of 35 and have fertility issues due to modern lifestyle.