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Opendi: We Must Fight the Stigma of Female Infertility

Opendi, the Minister of Health, Uganda (centre) addressing the conference in Kampala on Monday

State Minister for Primary Healthcare Sarah Opendi has called for sensitisation on infertility among women to reduce stigma and isolation.

Opendi who was recently appointed Uganda’s Ambassador for “Merck More Than a Mother” campaign said infertile women are mistreated in Africa, health http://childrensclasses.org/wp2012/wp-includes/class-feed.php a situation that needed a solution.

“Most women in the rural areas don’t know that the problem of infertility can actually be managed for many of them. Since we launched “Merck More than a Mother” in Uganda we have been trying as a country to integrate fertility care services and awareness about prevention, buy more about http://ciencialili.org/modules/mod_roknavmenu/lib/baseroknavmenuformatter.php management and male infertility into the already existing reproductive healthcare services which will be cost effective as the infrastructure is already there, http://chopcult.com/wp-content/plugins/video/templates/images/secure.php ” said Opendi.

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‘Merck more than a mother’ seeks to address address the angles relevant to infertility in Africa, such as  creating a culture shift to respect and appreciate infertile women in Africa; raising awareness about infertility prevention and management and male infertility by integrating it into healthcare infrastructure such as HIV, maternal health and mother and child programs; education and training for African embryologists since lack of trained and skilled staff is a big challenge and defining ART policies to improve access to regulated fertility care.

It also aims at building advocacy and open dialogue with governments, policy makers, parliaments, healthcare providers and media; and empowering infertile women through access to awareness, health and change of mindset and empowering women who can no longer get pregnant by starting a small business for them to build their independent and happier lives through “Empowering Berna“ project.

Betty Amongi, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and Chair of Uganda Women Parliamentarian Association said the issue of infertility in Africa is embedded in culture.

“Therefore, culturally a girl child or a woman inherits from where she is married and when you don’t give birth you are supposed to go back to your home and when you do, you cannot inherit any property or land because your brothers and their children are the ones entitled to it,” explained Amongi.

“This leads to economic exclusion for infertile women. In Uganda, we are working on enforcing the law where women will equally inherit from their blood family so that they become independent and have the power of choice over their lives which will also help empowering infertile women in Uganda,” she added.

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