PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari’s wife Aisha has urged Africans to change their perception of women’s infertility as an abnormal condition and desist from attaching a social stigma to ladies who cannot bear children.
Speaking in Accra, the Ghanaian capital at the sixth Merk Africa-Asia Luminary/More Than a Mother Initiative summit, Hadjia Aisha Buhari expressed her concern on the need for African societies to change their mindset regarding women with infertile problems. She was a participant during the high-level panel discussion of African first ladies, which discussed the theme Building Healthcare Capacity on the African Continent.
Organised for African first ladies and co-chaired by Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the wife of the Ghanaian president, the panel discussed challenges and solutions regarding the breaking of the stigma around women living with infertility. Hadjia Buhari advocated the need for increased women empowerment, counselling and providing medical support to women with infertility problems
She added: “I want to use this opportunity to call on African societies to desist from the mindset which tends to see women’s infertility as an abnormal condition. The associated stigmatisation and abuse that usually characterises such situations need to change as the issue is capable of being addressed through medical healthcare and modern science.”
According to Hadjia Buhari, the Aisha Buhari Foundation (ABF) and the Future Assured Programme, have empowered many women through medical support and income-generating activities in Nigeria, in line with her promise during the 2017 Merk Foundation Initiative summit. She added that the ABF organised skills acquisition programmes and provided grants of seed capital for micro and small businesses.
Hadjia Buhari said: “The Aisha Buhari Foundation had specifically identified and empowered more than 200 infertile women within this period in addition to offering them medical treatment for fertility and providing them with counselling. We have since built and donated two functional women hospitals to two out of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones with the plans to reach the remaining four geopolitical zones soon.”
She also spoke about the effort of her non-governmental organisations in helping to curb the stigmatisation, depression and abuse as well as creating awareness, access to information, health and ultimately change of mindset against women with infertility problems. Across Africa, women who cannot bear children are perceived to be evil, witches and possessed with some form of demon.