Infertility stigma against women must end – Akufo-Addo

Tuesday, 29th October 2019

President Akufo-Add has appealed to Ghanaian and the rest of Africa to end the infertility sigma unleashed against women

Addressing attendees of the 6th annual conference of the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel under the theme; “Together for a Better Future”, President Akufo Addo said for the fact that women are the first line educators of children, it is obvious that the African continent ultimately empowers itself when it empowers women rather than stigmatizing them.

“We are told by the World Health Organization (WHO), that One Hundred and Eight Six Million (186 Million) people around the world experience either primary or secondary infertility.

We in Africa are tagged as the continent with the highest birth rate and some countries in Central and Eastern Africa are also described as “the infertility belt” of the world” the President noted.

“WHO tells us again that even though infertility in men is the course of fifty per cent (50%) of cases of a couples inability to conceive, the economic, psychological and socio-cultural burden “falls disproportionately on women” President Akufo Addo added. Infertility Statistics Backing his call with available statistics, President Akufo-Addo noted that in Côte d’Ivoire, “twenty-six per cent (26%) of infertile women compared with three per cent (3%) of fertile women have never been married”.

“In Ethiopia, it is said that on eighty-five per cent (85%) of childless marriages end in divorce in five years”. In Tanzania,” a childless widow may not inherit her husband’s wealth”.

In South Africa, “a survey conducted revealed higher levels of anxiety, depression and anger among infertile women. In Ghana, a woman who is infertile risk been treated as an outcast and having her marriage ending”.

This cases I believe are not peculiar to these countries only but are also representative of the unfortunate situation prevailing on the continent.

It must end” President Akufo Addo said.

Addressing the Challenge In order to address the infertility challenge on the African continent, President Akufo Addo suggested that the continent has a duty to introduce concrete measures aimed at helping infertile women to over they same.

“The onus is on each and every one of us to work towards finding solutions to addressing infertility and ending stigmatization. We must as a matter of necessity take urgent steps to incorporate issues regarding infertility prevention and treatment and the development of maternal and reproductive health care policies in our respective countries” the President stated.

IVR in Focus On the issue of assisted reproductive technology, President Akufo Addo indicated that “we must most certainly make the concept which is commonly referred to as “In Vitro Fertilization” (IVF), “affordable and more available to majority of women on the continent who are faced with infertility”.