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The science of compassion: How Dr. Zakiya is revolutionising fertility care

Rabeeha Amir
08 March 2023, MVT 19:36
Dr. Zakiya Ahmed, Fertility Specialist. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI / MIHAARU
Rabeeha Amir
08 March 2023, MVT 19:36

Dr. Zakiya Ahmed knew she wanted to be a doctor from a young age. When she was 17 years old, she began her MBBS programme with the encouragement of her family.

She worked as a medical officer and a senior medical officer for four years and further specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology. She joined a government hospital in 2015.

When she began working as a medical officer at IGMH after finishing her studies, she didn't have the interest to pursue a subspecialization in infertility.

Then, what she started witnessing in OPD changed her thinking. She saw the prevalence of female infertility, monthly irregularities, and the growth of PCOS in females. She came to see the urgent necessity for these topics to be carefully considered in consultation.

Dr. Zakiya said, "I realised the need for proper treatment of infertility in the Maldives and wanted to specialise in that field."

Dr. Zakiya joined Treetop Hospital as the first Fertility Specialist in the Maldives. Despite the fact that the nation's women struggle with infertility, there is still a gap in the care available. Many must turn to expensive international travel for medical treatment. Nevertheless, Dr. Zakiya and Treetop Hospital have a goal to change this.

The hospital is getting ready to open a fertility centre with IVF treatment in the near future.

Dr. Zakiya noted that the majority of her patients have expressed concern about not receiving the necessary treatment for infertility.

"Women come to me distressed, asking that I at least give them the medication needed to conceive. Internationally, infertility treatment is very progressive. Finding this gap in the Maldives motivated me to further specialise in the area", said Zakiya, who studied at Bangalore’s Milann Fertility Centre.

Despite the fact that there is an obvious fertility problem in the country, no research has been done on it that can reach the same conclusion. However, when IVF treatment commences at Treetop Hospital, it will help to understand the prevalence of infertility.

The challenge for Dr. Zakiya when she completed her studies was the lack of treatment available in the nation. IVF and ICSI are the most cutting-edge treatments for infertility. Yet, not all women require this.

The way an infertility specialist interacts with their patients differs. While some women might need IVF, others do not. Both counselling and prescribed drugs are effective.

Each patient's experience with infertility is unique, and Dr. Zakiya carefully assesses each case to make a diagnosis. She feels fulfilled knowing that she is doing whatever she can to help these women, given their situation.

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