President of the Republic of Liberia, George Weah, has taken the campaign towards breaking stigma attached to infertility in the African society a notch with a song.
This has added to the credential of the Liberian leader as a staunch supporter of women which earned him the title, ‘Feminist-In- Chief’ of the Republic of Liberia.
In a passionately presented song in support of Merck Foundation’s “More Than a Mother” campaign, President Weah reminded men to support their women and stop the blame game.
He said men should check themselves, consciously reminding them that “men too can be affected by infertility,” and that they should stop blaming women even if they cannot have a child, knowing that women are “More Than a Mother.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 180 million couples across the world face infertility. In the poorest countries, it says, the 12-month infertility prevention rate- failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sex ranges from 6.9 to 9.3 percent.
It also noted that infertility programs are, especially critical in sub-Saharan Africa, which has some of the highest birth rates in the world, but conversely home to some of the highest rate of infertility globally.
In Africa, the perception about infertility is gradually changing. More women and men are gradually coming to the realization that it is a shared problem that affects both male and female. This is a departure from the past where it was regarded as a woman’s problem.
The involvement of Liberia’s President in the campaign against stigmatization of infertility is an attestation to the fact that more males including prominent leaders in Africa, are championing the cause to raise awareness on infertility, breaking the stigma as well as taking on initiatives to support and encourage the works of charity organizations such as the Merck Foundation which continues to endeavor to put a smile on the faces of several people struggling with infertility.
Merck More than a Mother campaign is a movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mindsets.
The campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to education, regulate safe and effective fertility care, defining further interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raise awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility.
Some African traditions, according to research conducted on infertility, rest the burden of childbearing entirely on women, such act is in direct disregard to known facts that even men can be infertile.