The First of its kind, the Parents-In-Waiting Conference was organized by the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation held on the 10th of September 2017. The event started with a warm welcome by the compere, Radio personality and actress, Omotunde Adebowale David, popularly known as Lolo 1, followed by the national anthem and an opening prayer by the First Lady of “This Present House” – Mrs. Tony Rapu.
The event proper started immediately with the first speaker, Dr. Margaret Irele, IVF Coordinator and Counsellor at the Roding Reproductive Centre. She spoke on Infertility and expounded on its definition, causes and treatments. Next up was a speech by the Head of Embryology Laboratories at The Roding Reproductive Centre, Dr. Femi Olaiya whose talk on IVF Laboratory Procedures helped many couples demystify the process. In his talk, he encouraged men to make themselves available for fertility tests and procedures and not leave it to their wives alone.
The next speaker was the head of Adoption and Fostering Services for the Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development, Mr. Oluwatoyin Ikotun who explained the adoption process in Lagos State as a viable alternative to natural or assisted reproduction. The last speaker for the day was Igori Mary Jane, Fertility Nurse at The Roding Reproductive Centre, she spoke on Ovum Donation and Surrogacy, and broke down the medical terms and concepts surrounding both processes to the understanding of the audience. The seminar was followed by a Question and Answer session.
After the seminar, the chairman of the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation and senior pastor at Trinity House, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo gave his address, in which he commended and celebrated his wife’s zeal, passion and commitment to ensuring that the foundation has gotten to its present height.
Next up was an insightful drama that highlighted the experiences of people suffering infertility and spoke strongly against stigmatization by the society. In order to further buttress this, two amazing women (Mrs. Akenzua and Pastor Oyenike Bankole) who had battled infertility and had come out fruitful shared their testimonies to encourage waiting couples.
After this, Pastor Mrs. Ruth Esssien admonished couples to keep the spark alive in their marriage even as they wait for the fruit of the womb. This was followed by another question and answer round. A documentary about the foundation played that featured previous beneficiaries of the IIF Grant and the Founder, Mrs. Ibidunni Ighodalo sharing her personal journey with infertility.
This was followed by a speech by the wife of the Emir of Kano, Her Royal Highness Mrs. Mariam Sanusi on the importance of not stigmatizing women who do not have children, but instead embracing and supporting them. The climax of the event was the announcement of the recipients of the grant for this year by Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo. Ten couples were initially picked but Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, Mr. Tony Cole and some other guests decided to pay for five extra couples. Pastor Ashimolowo then prayed for the couples selected and the audience at large.
The program ended with a vote of thanks by Pastor Ituah and Ibidunni Ighodalo. The event also featured free medical screening and counselling for all participants.