By Rukaya Mosavel
Aqeel Morris, a young Capetonian fertility expert has made his mark in the field of male reproductive health at the 35th annual meeting of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology held in Austria last month. He is currently completing his Doctorate in embryology at the University of the Western Cape.
Male embryology is a study focused on male infertility and reproductive health. Morris said that being an infertility expert at 26 years old means that he is well versed in knowledge about the importance of a male suffering from infertility. Morris completed his undergraduate, honours and masters at the University of the Western Cape. Morris said he found his passion in the final year of his undergraduate studies.
“That last module was captivating and sort of told me, look, this is it. This is where your passion truly is. Go for it,’’ added Morris.
Morris said that in Cape Town, there is a preconceived notion that women only suffer from infertility. In reality, he explains 50% of the cases of infertility is actually due to a male factor.
“That interested me in the beginning. As I started in the field, I then found this sort of knowledge gap that is not accounted for, but it’s very prevalent. This then sparked my research of master’s degree which basically looks at comprehensively evaluating the male before the commencement of treatment of fertility,’’ Morris added.
Morris said that there is a lack of treatment for males that suffer from infertility matters. He is doing research and work in Western Cape clinics namely Tygerberg hospital, Cape fertility and Aevitas fertility clinic.
“All three of those clinics is currently part of my PhD trial which basically investigates diagnosing the male before starting the treatment and then looking at the outcomes and seeing whether we can actually improve the treatment of infertility just by investigating the male a bit more,” said Morris.
The medical conference held in Vienna Australia is an annual and worldwide conference of reproductive specialists.
“This platform is basically used to update everyone with regards to treating patients and ensuring that the way you practice is up to standard. My presentation was in the section of emerging outcome-based studies in male infertility. There was about 5 or 6 in my session that presented. The presentation was quite well received,” Morris said.
Morris further added that he is aiming to complete his PhD research by the end of the year and graduate in June next year. He said that his family and community is a great source of his motivation and form his support system. He advises the youth to believe in themselves and trust in their abilities and strength. He encourages them to study and strive to do the best in what they do. VOC