President of the Fertility Society of Ghana (FERSOG), Dr. Edem K. Hiadzi has advised couples facing challenges of childbirth to seek early treatment instead of wasting time at prayer camps and other spiritual centres.
“Seek medical care for infertility early to avoid severe complications which could completely obstruct childbirth,” he said.
According to the specialist, infertility was not a spiritual problem but a medical condition which could be treated when couples consult experts on time.
Dr. Hiadzi gave the advice at a media capacity workshop organised by the Merck Foundation, an international health organization on breaking infertility stigma across the country.
It was to empower selected journalists on their role in enhancing public engagement and understanding of infertility stigma with its associated misconceptions among communities.
“We often find couples’ with infertility issues wasting too much time at various praying camps and spiritual centres paying huge consultation fees and report late at the hospital.”
“I am not saying there is no God, I believe in prayers which I do for my family and patients but God in his own wisdom has given man the knowledge to diagnose and find solution which infertility is part, so let us seek specialists’ attention before its too late,” he said.
Dr Hiadzi said it was time society stopped the stigma against women for their inability to produce or have children of their own.
According to him the fact that “a man erects and ejaculate does not mean he is fertile, there is a possibility that you can just be producing semen without sperm, so it’s important men check themselves and not lay the blame solely on women.”
He urged families to support couples struggling with childbirth instead of maltreating and rejecting them in their time of difficulties.
Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Naa Ayeley Mensah, in a speech read on her behalf, reiterated the need to stop discrimination and stigmatization against couples without children.
She observed the critical role the media could play to change the present status quo entreating it to use their platforms to raise awareness on the issue and proffer effective solutions to the challenge.
The Deputy Minister challenged the Association of Women in Media (ASWIM) to champion the course of infertility in the country to save women from all forms of abuses.
Making a remark, a representative from the Merck Foundation, Ekta Pal noted that the training programme aimed to improve the health and wellbeing of people especially women and children through science and technology.
She said the ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ project has been designed to empower infertile women on the sub-region through access to information, education, health and change of mindset on infertility.
BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG AND ABIGAIL ANNOH