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Infertility is not a stigma: Campaign to empower infertile women launched in Nigeria

Nigeria’s first lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari has launched the ‘Merck More than a Mother’ campaign to empower infertile women in Nigeria.

The launch is in partnership with Senate Commission on Health; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and Future Assured organization.

‘Merck More than a Mother’ is a commitment to break stigma around infertility and empower infertile women by improving access to information, education, healthcare and change of culture and mind-set to de-stigmatize infertility, according to a press release from Africa Forever copied to ghanabusinessnews.com.
Mrs. Buhari pledged her support and the support of Nigerian Governors’ wives in the implementation of the campaign activities in Nigeria focusing on eliminating infertility stigma and creating awareness and providing information and education on causes of infertility; facilitating access to healthcare; and economic and social empowerment of infertile women, it said.

The Nigerian women leaders also supported the empowering of infertile women who form a vulnerable part of the population.

Infertile women in Nigeria and many other African countries who can no longer be treated have been empowered socially and economically to lead independent and happier lives through ‘Empowering Berna’ initiative. Empowering Berna is part of Merck More than a Mother campaign.

Helen Phillip, a Nigerian woman from the North shared her story of suffering from infertility stigma and expressed her gratitude to the support the campaign provided her through establishing a new business so that she can become an independent productive member in her community.

“In Nigeria we have been advocating for the end of harmful traditional practices including the stigmatization of women which is prevalent all over the country. Women have not been coming out openly because they are traumatized. With this campaign we will encourage them to speak out and we pledge our support and collaboration,” Aisha Alhassan, Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, was cited as saying in the release.

The campaign was first implemented in Kenya in 2015 followed by Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic and Nigeria.

By Pamela Ofori-Boateng

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