The sixth international congress of the Jordanian society for Fertility and Genetics April 22-24, 2015

Senator Zaid Kilani MD
Founder of the Jordanian Society for Fertility and Genetics

Since the delivery of Louis Brown in July 1978, infectious enthusiasm spread worldwide to further explore and adopt the new assisted reproductive technologies. Indeed, there was criticism, doubt, fear, cautious observation, hesitation, and eagerness to know more about this exciting new technology.

Jordan, a small Islamic country, was among many countries astonished by this breakthrough in medicine and was eager to take advantage of this major scientific advance, which should positively impact thousands of couples with infertility.

Jordan was the first country in the Middle East, and perhaps one of the few countries in the world, to introduce and embrace this new technology. Between 1978 and 1987, several countries announced the deliveries of their first IVF babies. The populations of these countries at that time were as follows:

Country Year Population in Millions
Great Britain 1978 56
Australia 1980 15
USA 1981 229
Germany 1982 77
Japan 1983 119
Russia 1986 145
Jordan 1987 3

In 1983 the first IVF center in Jordan was established. As one would expect, there were numerous obstacles to accepting this new medical technique, such as religious beliefs, cultural issues, costs, and identifying appropriate candidates. Some husbands and wives rejected this method and found it unethical; however, with perseverance and success, patients became more and more understanding and more accepting of assisted reproductive techniques. Indeed, the MUFTI (the higher Islamic authority) supported and endorsed this methodology and stated that assisted reproductive techniques are permitted in Islam.

For many years only one IVF center existed in Jordan; the IVF center was located in the capital of Jordan, Amman. In 1988 another center was established by the government at the King Hussein Medical Center. In 1994 a third IVF center opened in the private sector at the Amal Hospital. Subsequently, 13 IVF centers were established in Amman and two IVF centers were opened outside of Amman.

In 1997 a medical group comprised of different specialties determined that it was time to establish a society representing reproductive endocrinology and infertility sub-specialists and allied health care specialists; hence the Jordanian Society for Fertility and Genetics was formed. The Jordanian Society for Fertility and Genetics was intended to be under the umbrella of a medical syndicate, but the membership was rejected because the rules of the syndicate were to permit medical doctors only (no scientists or biologists), therefore, the Jordanian Society for Fertility and Genetics decided to be independent in order to embrace all elements of the medical profession; the proposal was accepted with the permission of the Interior Ministry in 1997. Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein accepted the request to serve as the honorary President of the Society, which gave the Jordanian Society for Fertility and Genetics strength and pride.

Establishing the Jordanian Society for Fertility and Genetics was not an easy undertaking; indeed, it was more difficult to run the Jordanian Society for Fertility and Genetics and to make it an independent and autonomous entity. At this time, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and admiration to my colleagues who helped me in founding the Jordanian Society for Fertility and Genetics, as well as the Secretary, Mrs. Amal Al Astal:
  • Dr. Abdulatif Abu Khadra
  • Dr. Amal Ibrahim Dakkak
  • Dr. Azzam Omran Al Mekhi
  • Dr. Mary Hani Haddadin
  • Dr. Mohammed Ali Shaaban
  • Dr. Naim Baker Farah
  • Mr. Samer Darwish Ghunaim
  • Dr. Yousef Abdullah Zaid Kilani
With the determination of the members, financial support from believers in the Jordanian Society for Fertility and Genetics, and assistance from sincere friends worldwide, the Jordanian Society for Fertility and Genetics has clearly demonstrated independence and autonomy. It was our collective opinion that presenting local lectures and hosting international congresses will confirm that the Jordanian Society for Fertility and Genetics is alive and well. The aim of holding congresses is not to benefit financially, but to disseminate knowledge amongst our members and exchange ideas in the spirit of improving. Attending congresses helps a member determine one’s areas of strengths and weakness. Through congresses a member is able to meet old friends, strengthen friendships, and develop new relationships. In addition to the mental stimulation, there are social activities which refresh the mind and deepen the friendships.

Dear colleagues and friends:
This is our sixth international meeting, which without you would not exist. We cannot thank enough our guest speakers from all over the world who have supported this meeting and enriched it with their experience and knowledge. I thank the delegates, who with their presence alone have made this dream a reality. Of course, our thanks go to the pharmaceutical companies and many private institutes that have provided financial support.

Lastly, this is an emotional moment in my career. This meeting gives me confidence and proof that nothing can be achieved without hard work, proper planning, and perseverance. I like to finish my comments with the following: